No business is perfect, and there will be situations when customers have something to complain about. The complaints can be pretty small, or they can be significantly important. In either case, you have to learn how to deal with them. If you deal with customer complaints and concerns the wrong way, it will have a detrimental effect on your business. Your customers will be even more aggrieved because of your terrible customer service.
The fact is, most complaints can be solved very quickly, meaning customers quickly forget about them. In fact, if you deal with the complaints efficiently, the chances are the customer will think highly of your business because you’ve taken their issue seriously and acted as fast as you can.
So, with that in mind, what are the right and wrong ways of dealing with customer issues?
The Right Way: Speed & Empathy
The right way to deal with complaints is by taking a very proactive approach to the situation. You need a system in place that lets your customers submit claims or complaints with ease. For example, you have a page on the website where they are able to do this. Then, you need a process that lets you handle the claim as quickly as possible. Implementing something like claims processing automation can be crucial here as you use technology to automatically process the claim and ensure that it’s dealt with the right way. For instance, you process the claim instantly and get it sent to the right person to handle it.
If possible, you should have AI customer service agents that can also deal with complaints and issues automatically. Chatbots are a fantastic example of this; they can handle common issues and present your customers with the solutions. This means that customers can have a problem solved in minutes without ever needing to pick up the phone. If the AI software can’t solve the issue, the customer is put through to a real person to talk to instead.
The benefit of having a process like this is that things move quickly, but the customer service agent also ends up with all the information they need. They see the complaint, they see what hasn’t worked already through the automated system, so they can now try other ideas. It prevents cases when a customer talks to an advisor and hears the same thing they already heard on your website!
From here, you need to listen to the customer and empathize with them. That’s another key element; you need to show empathy and let the customer know that they are completely right to be annoyed by something. Then, walk them through the various options and solve the complaint as best as you can. Do this all quickly and efficiently, and your customer can be on with their day. They will appreciate it a lot and may even leave positive reviews about your customer service.
The Wrong Way: Slow & Unconcerned
So, if that’s the right way to handle these issues, what’s the wrong way?
In short, the wrong approach is to take your time. You can’t have a customer submit a claim/complaint on one day, then get back to them in a week. You can’t have customers on hold for hours as they try to call you. This is why it is so important to have some sort of automated/AI system that customers can use instead of instantly phoning you. It offers them more communication options, as well as chances to solve the issue before picking up the phone. The longer you take to solve a problem, the worse it looks for your business.
Similarly, you need to show some level of concern for the customer. If it seems like you really don’t care about the complaint – or you try to make the customer feel like it’s their fault – you will end up with more issues. Customers that experience great customer services might leave positive reviews, but the chances of someone leaving a negative review after bad customer service is much higher. If you annoy a customer or make them angry by taking ages to deal with their issue and not coming to a swift conclusion, they will make sure that everyone knows how bad your customer service is.
Realistically, this isn’t rocket science. The right way to deal with customer complaints and issues is to be fast and empathetic. Give them multiple ways of getting in touch, and make it possible for common issues to be solved automatically. Whatever you do, don’t ignore complaints or take ages to deal with them!