Top 3 Actions That Prevent Complaint Resolution
When a customer feels like they have been treated unfairly by a company, they don’t think about terms and conditions, fine print, or your company’s reputation. Their concern is for themselves.
When a complaint reaches BBB, your customer has complained for a reason. They’ve invested time in filing the complaint, compiled documents, and possible has waited a significant amount of time for a response from you, the business. What happens next can save a customer, or at least bring the matter to closure. Here are the top 3 things we see that can create more tensions, and keep both parties from walking away feeling the issue was resolved:
Blaming the Customer
Maybe the customer’s complaint is entirely their fault. Maybe they didn’t read the contract they were signing, didn’t do the proper maintenance, and maybe your company had no fault in creating the situation at all.
Instead of saying why it’s not your fault, begin by acknowledging what they’re saying, why they’re frustrated, and remember that they are not an expert in your industry. They were trusting you to tell them what they needed to know. Save a customer by acknowledging those feelings. Your answer may still be no, but it will be a softer blow.
2. Answering Defensively
If you come into the conversation ready to fight, that’s exactly what will happen. If you begin by being defensive and are not willing to hear their concerns, an angry customer will become even more frustrated.Sometimes they just want to be heard and acknowledged.
Listen carefully to determine if there is something you can or should offer that may alleviate the customer’s complaint.
3. Minimize the Problem
Consumers who file a BBB complaint and stick with the process are really frustrated. It’s something that’s a big deal to them, even if you don’t think it should be a big deal. If you try to pass it off as a “minor inconvenience” it doesn’t matter what you say next. The consumer will not be ready to close the complaint as resolved.
When responding to a complaint, make sure that you are acknowledging the customer’s issues. If you need to, restate the issues that the customer has asked you to address. Try to approach the situation as objectively as possible. Often, it’s not what a business says in their response to a complaint but how they say it. Learning how to say it in a manner that will be well-received by your customer can make all the difference.