As promised this is part two of a three part series on complaints. In yesterday’s blog we covered complaints in general. Today it is primarily focused on the complaints that end up being listed as part of the Internet and in either the Social Media sites or the Review sites like “Yelp”.
First, lets say that if you can, try not to let a customer’s dissatisfaction reach this level. Try working with a customer to make sure you understand what you need to do to satisfy them.
Also we are going to talk today about complaints that are true and with merit. You know the ones that you really should own up to. They happen in every business no matter how hard you try to prevent them.
There are times when the first you know about an unhappy customer is when you find or someone tells you about post in Social media or a Review web site. I’m never sure why customers think that is the best place to start a complaint or why that avenue will do the best to get a problem resolved. Perhaps it is not a matter of getting something fixed, replaced or a refund but a way to vent anger and/or frustration.
If possible identify who the customer is and contact them directly. If you can do this step you can then listen to the customer side of this story and “Truly Fix” the problem (whatever it takes)! This part is done one-to-one and offline.
Never make a retraction part of the “solution”. In general the customer will usually write a follow-up and explain that you went out of your way (you did, didn’t you) to resolve the issue and invite them to come back as customer again (you did, didn’t you). Some will not, but you can feel that the negative comments will stop.
When you can’t identify who the customer is respond online in the place where the complaint appears (if possible). Make sure that your response is just an invitation to the “poster” to contact you so you can help in resolving their issue. Keep as much of the “solution steps” private and offline. (re-read the Streisand Effect)
Again never make a retraction part of your “fix”. The customer will usually write a follow-up and tell about how you went out of your way (of course) to understand and fix the issue and invite them to come back as customer (just plain good business). Again, some people will not, but you can feel that the negative comments should stop.
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