One of the main challenges of business-customer relations is about dealing with negative feedback. Customer service has always been a central part of developing brand loyalty. In fact it is the heart of a business model that allows a business to thrive.
It’s easier than ever for consumers to openly share brand experiences. Now they are also using online portals and social channels to express their resentment. But, the way you reply to unhappy customers will decide what they say about your brand afterward.
Major Crisis Scenario’s Faced by the Executives
Suppose your café receives a negative review with just 1.5 rating on Zomato. Or someone raises quality issue against your brand by calling the customer service executive. What will you do then? How will you react?
These are the main paths that businesses usually tend to take after receiving a negative review.
- Respond to the query at the earliest and reach a resolution.
- Try to bury the bad review with an avalanche of manufactured self-written positive reviews.
- Reply the thread with a ‘meah’ let us know more.
- Forget the platform and promote the website on other forms.
Except the first solution, all the other paths will gradually increase your issues further down the line. Responding to customer queries will give you actual customer insights and wisdom.
Below are the basic situations that may incite a customer complaint.
- Security Breaches
- Product Bugs
These are all immediate problems that demands immediate resolution.
In the usual circumstances, the crisis response in medium to large scale business takes the following turn.
Most people accept the infrequent humanly errors or system faults. By truly listening to the unhappy customers, you can make the most satisfying outcome possible.
Getting customer Response is vital
Giving response is extremely important, especially for the negative review or complaint. Some customer service executives tend to avoid negative feedback, as it shows up customer dissatisfaction openly. But, each dissatisfied contact is potentially an asset for your organization and a crucial referral source – if you are willing to listen.
- Resolve a complaint in customer’s favor and they will do business with you 70% of the time.
- Happy customers, who get their issue resolved, tell 4-6 people about their experience.
Most unhappy consumers don’t even bother to complain, they just silently quit your business. For each customer complaint online, there is at least 26 other customers, who remain silent. No matter the size of your company, customers who complain are giving you the chance to keep them engaged.
This can be achieved by having an efficient helpdesk software. The helpdesk software lets you collect all social queries to be streamlined on a single dashboard.
This allows you to view and respond to a large pool of customer queries. This way, your service team need not complain about the frequently incoming social queries.
Switch Your Thinking from Dealing with a Complaint to Handling a Concern
Behind your consumers’ complaint is likely a genuine concern that you can help them with. Emphasis on the concern and a way out will come more easily.
In order to avoid losing customers, you need to make it easy for them to complain. Let them know their criticisms are welcome. A complaining consumer cares enough about your brand to at least bring the issue to your attention. So, always thank the customer for taking out time to complain.
Make Your Customers Feel Heard
According to the American Express Survey, 67% of customers usually hung up the phone out of frustration. Listen to them carefully and empathetically – let them know you understand their feelings and you are taking them seriously.
While having one-on-one conversation with the client, some little, yet important things should be remembered. Customer service executives only care to ask for the customer’s name 21% of the time. It is important to show respect with a few basic conducts.
We all like to feel special and appreciated. It can be done easily by acknowledging not just the facts faced by the customers, but also how it made them feel.
Give Personalized Attention- Then Follow Up
Personalized attention is the first thing that a complaining customer needs. Then they expect that the company would spontaneously reply back or follow up the situation.
Clarify, to the best of your knowledge, what happened and why it happened. Then make it clear what you plan to do about it and give an exact time line by when it will be resolved. Most of the customers prefer to hear specific things, instead of excuses.
Just a single call or an apology mail cannot turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience [Source: Understanding Customer by Ruby Newell-Legner]. So you need to follow up.
For a proper follow-up, you need to understand, monitor and track the complaint. Ask as many questions to the customer that you need to clarify the basic problem.
Suitable CRM software will help you to monitor and track the situation. We can get a unique ticket number for each complaint, update the status of the situation, and act accordingly. Hence you will be able to handle multiple problems at a time without overlooking even a single one.
CRM system enables you to reach out the customers directly, so that you can resolve their problem by one-on-one interaction.
Also you can handle online reviews from the same platform that speeds up your response as well.
Get hold of the Opportunity for Improvement
Unhappy customer is an available source of true information about your business. You need this real information, if you want to develop and stand out from your competition. Sometimes it’s good to receive positive criticism from your customers. It helps to build up better understanding and triggers the desire for betterment.
Unhappy customers are a challenge for any organization. But you now know every complaint is a prospect to minimize future errors. Regardless of how difficult the situations are, all scenarios can be resolved by simply listening, acknowledging and following up with the customer.
Strive toward making your relationships with customers a real “partnership”, rather than just a “business-customer” relationship. Utilize CRM for better infrastructure and customer communication.