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.