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A Six Step Customer Complaint Strategy


Customer complaints are very serious. Only 1 out of 25 unhappy customers will bring their complaint to you. Many people with a complaint will tell no one, they simply stop doing business with you. Others will talk about the issue, and if they use social media the impact is multiplied. A complaint highlights a problem with a product, a service, an employee, or the way you do business. A complaint offers insight that helps you find and solve the problem.

You must monitor online posts and comments regarding your business. Responding to a negative post allows you to ask the person responsible to contact you so you can resolve the issue. Once contact is made, you can follow the strategy outlined below.

When a customer takes the time to complain, it is important to react in a timely fashion. Correspondence templates allow you to acknowledge customer complaints in a prompt, professional manner. You are more likely to respond quickly when using an email, letter, or phone template without having to compose a new one.

Follow the six steps below for an effective complaint resolution strategy.

Acknowledge the Complaint
Respond quickly and sincerely. Research shows that if a complaint is handled quickly, a consumer is more likely to become a loyal customer.

Genuinely Apologize
Research shows that consumers are more likely to forgive a company if they receive an apology as opposed to receiving compensation. Of course, it stands to reason that both an apology and compensation/refund are even better.

Solve the Problem
Finding the solution to a legitimate customer complaint quickly can be the difference between a customer complaining about your company or praising it. Consumers want and deserve a quality response to their complaints, but when a company responds quickly consumers realize that you care about the issue and ultimately how they feel.

Follow Up
Contact your customer after the complaint has been resolved. Make certain the customer's concerns were addressed, then verify the customer is fully satisfied with the resolution process. Follow up to show your customers that you care about them and value their business. Almost 70% of customers will stop doing business with a company if they do not feel you care about them.

Go Above and Beyond
Show disappointed customers how much you care about them by exceeding their expectations. Call or contact them personally to make sure they are satisfied with the resolution of their complaint. Provide discounts, little known product info, or other incentives to demonstrate that you are sincere about keeping them as customers.

Implement a Complaint Tracking System
Keeping a record of, and tracking complaints allows you to solve repetitive issues that may plague an individual product line or employee. You may be able to spot trends and avoid product failures, customer concerns, or even lawsuits. A customer that makes frequent complaints may be identified which may allow you to address problems before they occur.

This six-step strategy will help you address customer complaints promptly, effectively, and efficiently. In turn, you should retain more customers and maintain your brand, which leads to better business and higher profits.

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