How do I handle complaints?

How do I handle complaints?

We all get complaints: some are maybe fairer than others, and there’s a lot of print acreage devoted to strategies to deal effectively with them.

There’s perhaps one point I’d like to try and make crystal clear in this post:

In the age of global choice, 2 way instant communication and transparent online reviews, the real issue with complaints is:

NOT the complaint itself, but

Your attitude to the complaint and how you handle it that matters.

Of course it’s important to deal with the complaint itself professionally, but customers will judge you and share their opinions worldwide about you on such issues as:

  • How easy you made it for them to tell you
  • How welcomed their feedback was
  • How well you listened and showed that you genuinely gave a s**t
  • How you went out of your way to try and ensure they left happy

These are the key issues to concentrate on – these are what will turn individual complaints into massive PR triumphs (or the opposite).

A start point is to change the word ‘complaint’ into ‘compliment’, because, by complaining, they’re giving you the message that they care about your customer experience, and believe you’re mature and caring enough to deal with their feedback constructively and kindly.

On top of that, they’re bringing something to your attention that 20 other customers have walked away from without telling you (and instead told their friends on social media).

And those are massive compliments.

How do I handle mistakes?

How do I handle mistakes?

We all make mistakes.

But in the age of global 2 way communication, and instant online feedback and sharing, they can be hyper dangerous – just ask Gerald Ratner if you want proof!

So, in this hyper connected age, it’s vital (not important, vital) to have a key set of simple principles to follow, when they occur: and of course, the flip side of all this is that in this hyper connected age, if you get it right, then mistakes well handled can be a massive boost to your reputation and business.

Want to see it done well: have a look at what M&S did when they ‘boobed’.

Before we go into the rules, we must point out that the rules are based on 4 (common sense) principles, that every customer is looking for:

  1. We genuinely care
  2. We consider the customer’s real needs above all else
  3. We focus on continual small changes
  4. We value feedback and act on it

So, here are some rules:

  1. Actively LOOK for boobs: most customers won’t tell you openly (they’ll tell their friends)
  2. See boobs as opportunities to excel, not something to be frightened of
  3. When you find one, apologise immediately (it doesn’t matter whose fault it was)
  4. Ask the customer for their thoughts and opinions empathically
  5. Reflect and agree small actions together
  6. Thank the customer genuinely for bringing this to your attention (if they hadn’t, the world would know about it via social media, but you wouldn’t)
  7. Take the actions
  8. Thank the customer again
  9. Check the customer’s happy
  10. Take a small action to change processes so the boob can’t be repeated

OK: rocket science it ain’t, but also common practice it ain’t. And this is the No 1 cause for problems in reputation and customer loyalty in organisations. Most boobs are small, but all boobs matter to customers.

The answer is actually quite easy:

  1. Embed the principles in your Organisation (this has to be GENUINE or it’s nothing)
  2. Continually train the actions

Then, and only then, boobs will become massive opportunities.

 ‘Sales through Service’ is a proven and powerful set of systems to boost sales whilst also enhancing the customer experience – to receive a free ebook ‘The 7 Deadly Sins of Sales’, please email support@salesthroughservice.com or visit http://www.salesthroughservice.com/free-sales-resources/

 

 

How do we get the most out of social media?

How do we get the most out of social media?

There’s a lot of HYPE about social media, combined with a lot of activity, and usually very few real results – so here’s a very simple and effective approach.

  1. Focus on ‘getting it right’ first. People and organisations who are genuine, passionate, committed and attentive are like catnip to others, whether they get everything right or not – it’s their attitude and stance that’s so attractive. Focus on being genuine, passionate, committed and attentive in your field FIRST!
  2. When you’ve done that, make sure you’re ON all the relevant channels and have a reasonably decent profile.
  3. Then join in the conversation and seek to add value to others as an overriding principle through your genuine, passionate, committed and attentive approach.
  4. NEVER TRY AND SELL DIRECTLY – it turns people right off
  5. Welcome and respond to feedback and reviews (see our numerous articles on this subject especially the one entitled ‘There’s no such thing as a bad online review’)
  6. When you have a good profile and proven added value online – Consider adverts as they’re so easy to measure – start small and see what works first. Consider special deals via online activity.
  7. NEVER make special deals better than those that you offer to existing customers
  8. Review, measure, hone and keep it up and NEVER stop being genuine, passionate, committed and attentive

Social media is just open talk and gossip online. That’s it. So you need to act in a way that’s ‘worth talking about’ for all the right reasons, on and off line – be ‘remarkable’.

‘Sales through Service’ is a proven and powerful set of systems to boost sales whilst also enhancing the customer experience – to receive a free ebook ‘The 7 Deadly Sins of Sales’, please email support@salesthroughservice.com or visit http://www.salesthroughservice.com/free-sales-resources/