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5 Ways To Handle Customer Complaints

Customers are an essential part of any retail business. With their satisfaction, one can look forward to growing exponentially, which is why customer `service is so imperative.

With widespread internet and social media usage, people are now becoming more conscious and vocal about their experiences with businesses – including the good and the bad.

Taking that into account for customer-centric businesses like conventional retail stores, it is natural for some retailers to come across instances of customer complaints, despite managing the business efficiently and trying to keep their buyers happy.

Considering that only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers make a complaint to the company, and an unhappy customer will tell about 15 people about their bad experience, chances are you’ve already lost some business due to unhappy customers without even knowing it. 

And of course, handling customer complaints is not something anyone looks forward to, but these occurrences can be a chance for you to do better and demonstrate integrity. So, this is your opportunity to create a happy and loyal customer for life.

While excellent customer service should always be your priority, if you do receive a client complaint, here are five suggestions for how to address it.

Do not disagree with them

Customers might make mistakes and not know from where their problem is arising – which could compromise their satisfaction. This is your cue to make them feel heard, by focussing more on the solution than the problem. 

Try to put yourself in their shoes –  It will enable you to approach them with a welcoming attitude and they will acknowledge your professionalism in some way or the other. 

After that, don’t hesitate to move on to the next point as soon as they are finished briefing you about the problem. 

Investigate the problem

Just like a coin, a complaint too can have two different sides. Before getting straight into the problem and seeking a remedy, try to understand its cause.

It is possible that a customer may be trying to get something as an excuse for a negative experience in your store. Or sometimes, they may be genuinely confused about their expectations and what they got. 

You may proceed with all relevant facts and if you ask us, it is the right thing to do when addressing the situation. This will help you gain more clarity on the issue and let you offer them a unique solution. 

Gather the facts

After you’ve listened to your customer’s complaint, it’s your turn to take the initiative and gather all of the facts. Now is the time to begin asking questions. 

It is critical, however, that you do not ask questions that your customer has already answered. Making them repeat themselves can worsen emotions and leave your customer with the impression that you weren’t listening in the first place.

This is your chance to connect with them. So, use this as an opportunity to start a real discussion with your consumer, which will establish trust. 

Provide an effective solution

Once you’ve acquired all of the necessary information, here is your time to discover a solution that pleases everyone, especially your consumer. The sooner you discover a sensible solution on which everyone can agree, the happy your customer will be. 

It is critical to be flexible in this situation. You would want to go above and beyond for your customers, but also remember your store’s guidelines while arriving at a decision. 

Also, it is advisable to not propose a solution that you are unable to implement, as this will just put you back. Perhaps a little gift card or a discount on future purchases would be enough to alleviate the problem. You can also consider offering to replace the item for free or give wholesale products a discounted rate.

Follow up  

After the incident has been resolved, consider how you might continue to assist your customers who have complained. Having someone contact customers one to two days after they’ve complained is one approach to achieve this.

If you have their phone number, call them to know if your suggestion was successful. They’ll be grateful that you listened to their worries and didn’t dismiss them.

Record Their Feedback 

Complaints frequently include hidden opportunities to improve your product or service. Documenting them will assist you in identifying flaws, issues, and trends.

 It could be a product flaw that needs to be addressed right away. Or perhaps it’s a complaint about a specific campaign that your marketing department can investigate. In any case, keep a record of all customer complaints for future reference.

With the complaints documented, you can bring them up at monthly and annual meetings to get advice on how to deal with the problem.

Final Thoughts

Handling customer complaints is not fun, but if done the right way, chances are both you and your customer will be satisfied with the outcome, and you’ll end up with a life-long customer.

For example, if you have out-of-stock wholesale products you can take their contact details and inform them whenever they’re back in stock – this will make a positive impression on their mind and would help to make them visit your store more often. 

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