In business, customer complaint is inevitable, and yet although it is considered to be a negative thing, having had a customer get back to you because he or she is wronged is already a favor. Why? Because most people would not take the time to come back to still do business where they were wronged.Once you have a customer come back, grab that opportunity to smooth things over and win them for future business.
According to a recent retail survey, on average, approximately one out of every four purchases goes wrong. Either the product malfunctions or is the wrong size, the representative tells or does something to irritate the customer, or something just isn’t right.
Tom Peters, an expert on customer service excellence, told that the biggest factor to customer retention is simply to take care of the customer after making a mistake.
1. Make a genuine apology. Say sorry to your customer and make sure you mean it. An upset customer wants a genuine apology for the inconvenience he or she has experienced. Nothing beats a sincere and empathic “I’m sorry”. Most probably, the customer you’ve upset will forgive you.
2. Let the customer vent. Don’t stop your customers from venting. As they vent to their heart’s content, it is crucial to listen to them. If after listening and empathizing, what the customer asks of you is still a blur, ask the question, “What do you want me to do?” Once you get the answer, respond promptly with everything you’ve got to follow through. Replace the product or carry out again the service. If that is not possible, give them a credit or refund. Do whatever it takes to remedy the situation promptly and courteously.
3. Give something as a peace offering. The final step to make is to do something extra for the customer. Being able to do this creates an opportunity to exceed the customers’ expectations and even amaze them. When you do this, you send them the message that your business is worthy of their trust enough for them to come back to you the next time they have a need for what you offer.
Doing something extra doesn’t have to be grandiose. It could mean small simple acts that make big differences such as making a follow up phone call to see if everything worked out, or giving them a coupon for 10 percent off their next purchase. If possible, it could also be just not charging them for the purchase of whatever the service or item happened to be.
To do something a little extra is a good example of proactive marketing to your customers. Building good will and trust can pay off in the long run. Such mindset and action will help spread a good reputation for your company as one that is able to deliver what is promised.
So, when you get complaints, do these three simple steps and see your customer satisfaction ratings skyrocket.