I Think You're Confusing Me with Someone Who Cares

 My job is to argue and prove you wrong, I’m not here to listen!

Most companies have some kind of process for handling customer complaints, most likely operated by the ‘customer service’ department.

Most of us have been dealt with by a ‘customer service’ department and, let’s be honest, customer service is a very loose description of what they provide!

The challenge, of course, is complaints handling requires a different approach to customer service and therefore, customer service is a wildly incorrect job description. Thus, the staff are incorrectly trained and their expectations disappointed!

They spend the majority of their time answering calls and e-mails from disgruntled and unhappy customers. They are taught their sole purpose and outcome is to defend the company position and avoid responsibility. After all, to acknowledge mistakes admits inefficiency and weakness. Customer happiness is an improbable, if not impossible outcome.

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of customer service complaint responses.

  1. To listen to respond and interrupt defensively whenever possible, explaining the company’s situation and any preferred solution.
  2. To actively listen to understand and discuss the customers’ position, find how it arose and work with them to develop the jointly preferred solution!

Response 1 attempts to force the customer into an impersonal ‘standard’ solution and puts them in a defensive position, almost certainly creating more dissatisfaction and damage. Response 2 creates a supportive atmosphere, helps the customer explain their challenges and allows for a negotiated customer solution, changing the complaint into a positive customer experience.

Complaints are a fact of life for any business.

Even the most efficient business faces disagreements and discontent. The success in turning this discontent into satisfaction is what positions the best companies at the top.

Dissatisfied customers cost money, they are highly powerful negative marketing and counteract your positive marketing ten to one, and that’s a lot of wasted revenue!

If your customer service department spends its time dealing with complaints as a secondary function, you need to reappraise your attitude towards customer care, starting from the sales process all the way through the supply chain to fulfilment!

Staff with complaint satisfaction responsibilities need patience and empathy, to care, absolutely, about creating satisfied and happy customers. They are front-line and vitally important staff, protecting and enhancing the company’s reputation and brand.

A key process of customer experience.

So, elevate your complaints procedure to a key process in your customer experience. Create specialist, super quality communicators, highly equipped to discover the flaws in your operation and make advantage of the opportunities to help your business build the best customer experience possible.

You will enhance your reputation, increase customer retention and create exponential growth.

Success will follow as a natural process!

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