Earlier in the month, I talked about how best to deal with complaints from your customers (‘How To Effectively Deal With Customer Complaints‘).
As all complaints aren’t simple and straightforward to resolve, today I want to look more closely at how you can prevent a lot of the problems that are associated with customer complaints, as an unresolved complaint can easily escalate into an issue that can cause your small business a significant number of problems.
1. Continually talk to the customer
Although it might be a negative comment, a customer has taken the time out of their life to write, e-mail or speak to you about one of your products or services that they are not entirely satisfied with.
Therefore, the very least you can do is talk to them right throughout the life of their complaint.
Don’t let them contact you for an update. Don’t anger them further by providing only a basic, stock answer at every point. And arguably most importantly of all, don’t ignore them at any time.
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2. Deal with the complaint quickly
If a customer has decided to complain, the worst thing you can do is let it drag on for several weeks, as not only does it show that your small business has poor customer service, but you also risk the customer raising their grievance further, such as on social media websites, platforms where you have almost no control over complaints.
Respond to the complaint initially quickly, follow it up regularly and aim to provide at least some form of answer within one or two weeks.
3. Act on any and all complaints
A customer complaint means that there is something wrong with one of your products or services and it’s highly likely that you will receive the same complaint again in the future until you find and resolve the root cause of the problem.
While treating and providing a solution to a customer complaint is great, it’s always preferable if you can do something to ensure the complaint doesn’t happen in the first place.
Customer complaints can be both detrimental and extremely beneficial to your small business, depending on how you deal with them. As there are no strict rules or guidelines on how to deal with complaints, it’s important that you do your research into what works best, so to stop the complaints growing in both size and severity, something that could cause you endless problems in the future.
This post was originally featured on February 21, 2012.