It’s the nightmare of everyone who has to deal with a customer base. Your boss or secretary summons you. You arrive to see a mildly infuriated person staring you down with needles for eyes. And now, you know: customer complaints have finally caught up to you as well. What’s left to do in this situation? People are so fickle that many of us are still struggling to find the perfect formula to this highly important matter.
Well, the best way to learn is through advice shared from one person in the work field to another. Therefore, continue reading below to discover what various personalities have to share regarding this topic through their own experiences.
3 Experts Share Advice on Handling Customer Complaints
#1 Gregory Cicotti
Gregory Cicotti is a content marketing strategist and the first marketing hire at Help Scout. Nowadays, he spends most of his time sharing knowledge via newsletters and other means of Internet communication.
When he talked about this sensitive issue, Cicotti recommended avoiding the passive aggressive language that so many of us are subconsciously guilty of.
“[…] ‘We’re sorry that you are having this problem’ is an infuriating phrase for a customer to hear. It is nothing more than the deferment of blame. […] Just say you’re sorry. Even when the customer is being unreasonable, apologize outright and ask how you might help resolve the issue.” (Source)
#2 Peter Gasca
Entrepreneur, consultant, and author at Inc. and Entrepreneur, Peter Gasca shared his input regarding this issue as well. One of the most interesting points he made was about prioritizing your resources according to the gravity of the complaint.
“[…] You should approach all complaints with equal attention, but clearly some pose a much greater threat than others. Be certain to identify the greatest threats and prioritize resources appropriately. After you have an understanding of the issue, be prepared to handle the problem.” (Source)
#3 Nicole Rehyle
Few customer complaints are as nausea-inducing as the ones that you find in retail. Nicole Rehyle specializes in this particular field, combining skillful customer service with the hellish demands of retail. So, naturally, dealing with a fuming client was one of the first things she offered advice on.
“It's easy and – quite frankly – natural to want to tell a customer they are wrong in what they are saying,” she claims. “However, this won't help you in your efforts to diffuse a customer from getting more upset while sharing a complaint. Instead of challenging their complaint, listen to what they are saying. And – dare I say – even thank them.” (Source)
In conclusion, it’s safe to say that there is a consensus which we’ve all learned to agree with by now. You need a lot of patience when dealing with these kinds of situations and you’d do best to appear as less condescending as possible. At the end of the day, you should prioritize what your course of action should be so that you get to the best possible outcome. Whether it’s the best for you or the customer, that’s up for debate.