Handling Customer Complaints

Berry Network/ February 15, 2024/ Blog

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Have you ever been scrolling on social media and come across an article where you know that no matter what the article says, the comments are going to be gold? There is a good chance that we have all spent time (lost time) reading through strangers’ less-than-excited takes on highly charged issues.

Social media has made it so easy to voice an opinion on just about anything, and while there is a lot of good that can come from being able to more freely express ourselves, there are also a lot of ways comments can be misinterpreted by others.

None of us need or deserve negativity in our days, but as a business owner, when a negative comment has been posted on one of your social sites, it can feel devastating. No matter how incredible your services are, there is bound to be the occasional complaint.

Don’t let a complaint leave you reeling. Handle complaints professionally and with plenty of grace, and you can turn a complaining customer into a returning customer.

Answer Them

The best way to handle a complaint is to answer it. While there may be some comments that are better off left alone, a legitimate complaint should always be responded to. That should include answering an upset customer whose complaint isn’t as fair as it could be.

Create a system for dealing with customer complaints online. Include in your process a standard reply that can be adjusted and personalized according to the situation. When you have a basic answer to work from, it can be easier to find solutions to just about any problem. Make sure staff members who will be handling any customer comments are well-trained on your system and your standard responses.

While some comments may only require your basic, set response, try to get personal as often as possible. Seek more information from the customer about the situation at hand and work with them directly to find a resolution that works for both of you. More often than not, a customer simply wants to be heard. When customers feel respected and listened to, they may not even need anything else from you.

Consider It a Gift

While that old saying “there is no such thing as bad advertising” was never really true, both negative and positive customer comments should be considered a gift. Your clients are engaging with you, and they are interested enough in your business to spend time seeking out a way to make their voice heard.

Offer apologies when one is due—and when one isn’t. Let your customers know you hope to learn from this experience in order to create a better business moving forward.

Just as you should seek out more information from the customer after a complaint comes to light, talk in-depth with your employees about what has happened. Spend time working together so that you can correct the situation and ensure better service, if it is merited. Take complaints as an opportunity to learn.

Be willing to let some customers go. This might be a hard pill to swallow, but when you have done everything in your power to make up for a misstep—or just to help a customer feel better in a situation that was out of your control—the ball is in the customer’s court to decide whether he or she will continue to patronize your business.

Be confident in how you have cared for the customer, your employees and your company, and then let it go. Some customers will simply need to move on after a situation has occurred, and you are going to have to be OK with that.

Most importantly, never anger-type. Make sure when you do answer a customer, you have had time to cool off and think through a professional response. Let someone else read over what you are sending before you click that button, too. You won’t regret taking your time when it comes to handling things well.

Want some help creating a positive online environment for your brand? Contact us, and we will help with that.