Writing in Forbes, customer service expert Micah Solomon has produced a simple four-step plan for recovering from customer service disasters. Every company has been there – a customer complaint whether justified or unjustified ends up creating a big argument with the team – who feel attacked.
But once in the situation where a customer is complaining, there is a way to turn the conversation about with these basic steps:
- Apologise. Keep apologising even if you don’t feel it is justified and until the customer is ready to move on from the initial complaint.
- Review exactly what went wrong with the customer, so you understand the detail of why they were upset in the first place.
- The person who took the complaint should take a lead in fixing the issue and then following up with the customer.
- Document what happened, so you can prevent it in future and you have some record of how this issue was addressed.
As Solomon mentions in his Forbes feature, one of the biggest issues for complaining customers is that the resolution of the problem is handed off to another team. Someone takes the detail of the complaint then passes it to another team to be resolved.
Even if your team cannot fix the problem they need to manage the process. They need to treat it as if it were their problem, acting like a project manager and checking when it will be resolved and updating the customer.
Getting passed from person to person is one of the most common complaints about customer service. Asking your team to take responsibility for making sure issues are resolved can dramatically improve their relationship with customers.
Photo by Butupa licensed under Creative Commons