You are building your company with the highest intentions. You are pursuing a lofty Mission. You are working passionately and tirelessly to create a company that dazzles your customers with wonderful products and services. You are building Procedures to deliver your USP consistently. You are training your team to do the right things.
Still…at some point you are going to blow it, and when you blow it, you may hear about it. Responding to a customer complaint is an A1 priority…urgent and important. For every problem, real or imagined, use strategy for making it right…
- Let your customer know that you are concerned!
- Assure him that you will do whatever it takes to make the situation right.
- Ask him what he wants you to do to make it right.
- Do that…and more. Aim to astonish him with your more-than-asked-for response.
Admit it when you’ve messed up. Apologize and make it right. Bless your complaining customers! You can make it right with them and use the experience to improve your business. The customers who are upset but don’t complain will just take their business elsewhere…and you will never know. Too much of that will sink your business.
Sometimes a customer will complain because he intends to rip you off and try and get something for nothing. Has that ever happened to you?
What about the BAD customer?
Sure, you can make a big deal about who is right and who is wrong. 98% of people are trying to do the right things. 2% of people, well, they are just nasty people. Don’t fuss over the 2%. Focus on the 98%. Save yourself some grief and aggravation. Cut to the chase. Find out what your customer wants you to do…and do it. Plus a little bit more.
Operate on the assumption that people are basically good. Focus on those who benefit by what you do…and do not neglect the basics when it comes to serving them better.
- Say, “please” and “thank you”.
- Don’t yell at people.
- No hitting.
- Monitor your personal noises, including but not limited to…coughing, throat clearing, sniffling, knuckle-cracking, gum-popping, ear-drum-equalizing…you know the others.
- No swearing.
- Criticize in private.
- Praise in public and praise in private…catch people doing things right all day. And brag on them.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Introduce people.
- Offer whatever it is you are offering to your guests/customers first.
- Send thank you notes and or gifts. Handwritten makes it a collectible.
- Give genuine compliments. Comment on nice manners.
- Ask permission to place someone on hold on the telephone.
- When you are wrong, say you’re sorry.
Help the people on your team learn manners by your good example.