Due to the insatiable nature of human being, complaints are bound to come from customers after the purchase of one product or the other. But as a business operator, you must have the ability to handle after sales complaints without losing your customers. Here are a few tips on how to deal with such situation:
Be the one to tell: Be proactive. Where there is a situation that would likely cause a problem, be the first to tell your customers. Help them take precautions and encourage them to come over whenever a problem occurs. Do not keep quiet hoping the customer would not notice. Being proactive would make it easier to handle the problem if or when it eventually occurs.
Reassure the customer: Always reassure the customer of your company’s commitment to excellence. After-sales problems make customers wonder if they matter to you and you must assure them that they do.
Go the extra mile: Do your bit and go the extra mile. For instance, after you have handled your end of the matter if the customer still has to meet another officer, take the customer there yourself and introduce him or her to the officer. Don’t just hand the customer a note and point directions. If an external professional is needed, provide references and contact details, or even make contact with the professional on the customer’s behalf.
Follow up: This is important whether or not you were able to satisfy the customer. Many people are so wary of setting off another onslaught that steers clear of the customer, but this is wrong and might leave a bad impression about your company: ‘... they’ve gotten the money off me so I can go to blazes.’ Where you genuinely fear another avalanche, you can use e-mail, sms or other written communication like greeting cards and snail mail. Time your follow up strategically. The first contact should be within 24 hours.
Keep your promises: Other than restitution we sometimes make other promises like policy changes, structure changes, and even sales routine changes; keep these promises. If you promised a compensation-wedding present then mark it down in your diary and keep that promise. If you promised to investigate a matter do so and give the customer feedback but do not reveal more than you should. The customer might never ask about the promise but he or she would definitely remember.
Social media: Today people vent on social media before they tell their mothers, so imbibe the habit of checking the company’s twitter time line, Facebook wall, Myspace, LinkedIn or whatever social media website your company uses. It goes without saying that you should encourage your customers to link up with your company on these platforms. Once a complaint is noticed, make contact with the individual or company immediately to rectify the situation. When the matter is cleared up and everyone is happy, post a statement to that effect. This would encourage others customers to speak up; instead of keeping it to themselves and moving over to your competition.
Learn: A problem should not re-occur if you learnt from it. If a customer has the same complaint twice, your apologies mean nothing the second time around.