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Every business exists for their customers.

Dealing with customers is really an art. Dealing with customer complaints is even more difficult. There are certain rules that apply that will help you, and make your customers feel better. Happy customers should be part of your customer retention strategies.

Dealing with complaints effectively will help improve your reputation. Every company has problems, being good at handling them will go a long way in keeping customers.

  1. Acknowledge the customer’s anger. While you’re listening to the customer, write down their concerns. Writing will keep your focus and help you remember  what the customer is saying.  It will also give you more  time to think about a solution.
  2. Thank the customer for their complaint. Have you ever heard that a complaint is a gift?  Instead of trying to explain away the problem, assume the customer has a valid point and thank them for sharing it with you. Unless you know what’s bothering them, how will you fix it?
  3. Empathize with the customer. Understanding the customer’s problem doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s just good to be heard without interruption.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say you will look into it. Not everything can be solved immediately. Tell the customer you will get back to them and give them a date and a time. Being consistent with your word will go a long way.
  5. Learn how to apologize. You’ll be surprised how apologizing will change the customer’s attitude. Telling someone you’re sorry also acknowledges that you realize that what happened is a problem for the person. Think about it; what’s better than a sincere apology?
  6. If they’re yelling at you and blaming you personally, try to stay calm. Reassure the customer you will get on it and will come up with some solutions. Just because they say it’s your fault doesn’t mean it’s so!
  7. The last thing to do is to act. You don’t have to take responsibility for the problem, but you can take responsibility for getting something done.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses to build loyal customers for the last twenty years. To have her speak to your company or schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com or check out her web site, www.lisbethcalandrino.com.

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