Drug testing

Responding to Complaints

It's possible that in the course of your business dealings, you may (just may) have to deal with a complaint from a customer or client ....

There are two ways you can go about this:

1. You can stand up for your rights (and lose the customer and any possible referrals)

2. You can keep your temper and keep your customer

REPLIES TO COMPLAINTS

Most businesses these days have (or should have) as their policy that the customer is always right. It's far better business sense to replace a couple of items which don't need replacing, and reap the reward of customer satisfaction and possible referrals, than to insist on your rights and lose unknown numbers of customers and referrals.

So, the aim of your response to an irate customer is to find out what he/she wants and to give it to him/her. Even if the request appears to be entirely unreasonable, what you earn in Brownie Points, often makes up for what you lose in replacing the item (unless of course it's a Maserati or the like!).

HOW TO RESPOND

1. Express regret, sincerely. Don't say, "We can't understand how this happened," because this implies that the customer is careless or stupid, since no-one else has had this trouble.

2. Explain how the trouble occurred. Your customer is entitled to know what went wrong (this also reflects well on your business, since it shows that you've taken the complaint seriously enough to investigate it thoroughly, and we all like to be taken seriously).

3. Tell the customer what you are going to do to rectify the situation. The best thing to do is exactly what the customer said he wanted. If this is totally impossible, suggest a viable alternative.

Sometimes the customer will be at fault, by forgetting to include a correct address or leaving out the cheque etc. Again, don't write anything that might make the customer feel silly.

NOT "... you failed to enclose your cheque ..."

BUT "Your goods are packed and ready for despatch. Immediately on receipt of your cheque, which apparently was overlooked in your original letter, we shall send them as requested."

Sometimes, it's just not possible to give the customer what he wants; and in this case you must exercise extreme tact in the wording of your letter.

The best way of refusing is as follows:

1. Begin with the refusal. I know it's painful, but it's far better to let your customer know how things stand from the very beginning.

2. Explain, in detail, why the request had to be refused. This way, you have the rest of your letter to try to set things right with your customer, and hopefully to end on a positive note (rather than hitting him with the refusal at the end).

Note:

? the expression of regret should sound sincere. "I am sorry..." sounds better than the colder, "I regret to inform you "

? point out all the reasons for refusing the request

? soften the blow by offering some small consideration. It might be a discount on the next purchase; a voucher for a smaller item (a scarf, tie etc); a complimentary gizmo from another business (with whom you have a reciprocal arrangement); flowers; tickets to a film or whatever.

Such sweeteners are worth much more than their cost. Instead of a disgruntled customer, blackening your name, you'll have a happy person, willing to tell everyone her story's happy ending. Listeners will see your side and will say things like, " ...well, they didn't have to do anything really, but wasn't it nice of them?"

N.B. If the spelling of words like "cheque" in this article worried you, please read this: http://www.write101.com/aus.htm

Jennifer Stewart is a professional writer who offers home study courses, copy writing, proof-reading and editing services for businesses and individuals from her site at http://www.write101.com

You can subscribe to free Writing Tips to improve your writing: mailto:WritingTips-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or read numerous articles on how to write well - for profit or pleasure.

limousine chicago service
In The News:

Hit The Jackpot With Customer Complaints

Our most powerful instinct is to avoid customer complaints, but... Read More

When the Customer Demands: Give a Discount or Lose the Order

Periodically every sales person encounters the customer who refuses to... Read More

The Added Value - Is YOU!

If there was a restaurant in your town that was... Read More

Get Customers to Stop Calling You--12 Easy Ways to Save Money with Online Customer Support

Despite rumors to the contrary, the Web is not dead.... Read More

The Death of the Loyal Customer

One of my classes in management focused on the repeat... Read More

Everyone talks in code!

How often have you left a meeting with a customer... Read More

Take Care of Yourself Before You Take Care of Your Customer

One of the most important questions people ask when they... Read More

Improving Customer Service

Improving customer service starts at the top - with us... Read More

Learn to Anticipate Your Customers Needs

This morning I was having breakfast with my good friend... Read More

4 Customer Service Mistakes Companies Should Avoid Making

1) Being placed on hold endlessly. Don't you just love... Read More

At the Carwash; The Customer really is always Right

You have no doubt heard the saying that the customer... Read More

RETAIL GREETERS: Sales Builders or Customer Turnoff?

Do you need greeters or should you avoid them? That... Read More

Wholesale Buyers Versus Retail Customers

Are wholesale buyers and retail customers really different? Frankly, there... Read More

4 Tips Toward Overcoming Bad Customer Service

Customer service is the pits, you say. You are not... Read More

CEM Can Improve Customer Loyalty

'A 5 percent increase in customer retention increases profits by... Read More

The 3 Rs of Customer Service

What I am about to tell you may seem very... Read More

How To Handle Customer Billing Snafus

Q: I just discovered that for the past six months... Read More

Automating Your Help Desk Workflow

Do you know you can open, answer, close and report... Read More

How to Retain Your Customers the Dish Network Way

Customer retention is vital to a business. If you cannot... Read More

Marketing as a Spiritual Practice

"Marketing as a spiritual practice." It sounds contradictory ? how... Read More

Are You A Coward? I Was

Over the last month, I have come to hate emails... Read More

Aint We Wonderful!

It may come as a surprise to you to discover... Read More

One of the Secrets of a Great Customer Experience

A few weeks ago we conducted our annual "Customer Experience... Read More

What Every Employee Should Know About Putting Positive Phrases Into Customer Service

If you were a customer on the telephone with a... Read More

Astonish your Customers With These Customer Service Tips

Customer service today is getting worse. Win customers over and... Read More

bulbs fixtures led lighting savings Pete's produce ..