1. Listen to the customer
If a customer has complained, it means that they want their unique problem to be heard. Brushing off a customer complaint or failing to fully understand the problem can make the situation worse. So train the customer service reps at your company in active listening techniques that allow customers to feel heard and seen by your organization.
2. Show empathy
Empathy is a key part of resolving any customer-facing problem or confrontation. Practicing empathy means stepping into the customer’s shoes and trying to see a problem from their point of view–why are they upset? And what actions would resolve the issue from their perspective?
Not only can showing empathy help you identify a solution to a problem, but it can also make the job of your customer service reps easier. Using empathy statements and attempting to relate to the customer often helps in calming everyone down.
If a dissatisfied customer senses that you genuinely understand their frustration and care about their problem, then they’ll likely be more willing to work with you toward a solution.
When dealing with unhappy customers, an apology can go a long way. If you made a mistake or didn’t deliver on a particular promise, sincerely apologize to the customer who’s complaining and acknowledge the validity of their situation.
At the same time, offering an apology can be beneficial even in situations where you don’t feel like you were wrong. An apology allows you to defuse the situation and move closer to finding a resolution.
4. Ask thorough questions
After listening to a customer’s complaint, make sure to ask any relevant questions in order to better understand the situation. With more information to work with, your customer service representatives will have an easier time finding a suitable solution to the problem and providing great customer care.
5. Loop in necessary parties
Communication is the key to success when solving just about any problem. Keeping your team in the loop can enable you to resolve customer complaints more quickly. Additionally, communicating a customer complaint to your team can prevent the mistake or miscommunication that prompted the complaint from happening again.
6. Find a swift solution
Perhaps the most important part of handling customer complaints is finding a resolution–and quickly.
No unhappy customer wants to wait around for days or weeks as you come up with a solution for their problem. Instead, prepare your customer service team with guidelines on go-to solutions for common customer complaints and limitations on what they can offer customers in a given situation.
7. Follow up
Following up on a customer complaint can be a great way to engage with your audience and show that you care. In many cases, following up on a customer complaint takes the form of sending out a customer satisfaction survey. In this survey, the customer can rate their level of satisfaction with their customer service experience, which can in turn provide you with valuable data and insight.
Following up with customer complaints will help you stand out from the competition by demonstrating excellent customer service.
8. Create a record
From the time a customer complaint is first submitted to the moment it gets resolved, record your interactions with the customer. Recording customer interactions can provide you with information that helps improve your products, services, and overall customer experience.
At the same time, having a record of communication with a particular customer can provide your customer service reps with context if that customer makes another complaint in the future.