Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How To Successfully Handle Customer Complaints? Part 3

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Hi Everyone! In 1st part of this comprehensive article, we discussed essential strategies to win over an unsatisfied customer including a vital input from Evernote's CEO. In the 2nd part I revealed vital insights about identifying & categorizing different types of complainers to handle customer complaints successfully.
Now I am here with the 3rd part where I will reveal 6 core strategies to win over your customers. This will include really effective methods to handle dissatisfied customers including one key essential found in Robert Bacal’s book, "If It Wasn’t for the Customers I’d Really Like this Job."

1)  Timing matters to customers!
I’ve seen lot of cases where managers spend considerable time with customers. However, for the complaining customers, getting their complaints resolved quickly is of extreme importance!

A customer won’t bear the fact that it took you 1 day to get back to her! And if she is your valuable customer (premium customers) then you might just lose her as they just hate excuses as discussed in the previous article. Also any unsatisfied customer is likely to spread the bad message to the large audience at her disposal! This can create a serious blemish on your brand!
Remember that unhappy customers want quick resolution, so one needs to respond prioritizing these complaining customers.  Read this article to understand about different categories of customers.

2. Keep the customer assured!
Consider this. You need to fill an online form to get in touch with the customer service. Once you submit the form, there’s no follow-up notification. Wouldn’t you feel dissatisfied and angry? Would you know whether your query has been considered or no?

This is really frustrating! Surprisingly, there are several companies who have such methods.

It’s essential that a customer feels assured that her complaint has been acknowledged with a follow-up notification of resolving it quickly.

3. The customer deserves all the respect!
David Ogilvy had famously quoted, “The customer isn't a moron; She’s your wife!”
Hence, if your treat customers with disrespect they’ll know and won’t tolerate.
Treating customers respectfully and like an acquaintance establishes a pool of trust. This trust is crucial for creating long-lasting valuable relationships. Also research supports the fact that personalized interaction is a powerful tool for effective conversations especially with customers!

4. Don’t Drag
If a customer wishes to cancel her account, do it right away. Remember that it’s not necessary that the customer is lost once she sign outs.
Hence, if the customer has already set her one foot out of the door then let her part in as frictionless manner as possible. Don’t annoy them. Instead remind them politely what they will miss with a sincere note of being grateful & available anytime for future assistance.
Winning the customers back with brilliant service forms an important part of business cycle which one must focus on.

5. Robert Bacal’s CARP Method
Robert Bacal’s CARP method is found to be really effective to handle upset customers. It refers to a path which if followed enables one to win over an unsatisfied customer! It is-
  • Control- Understand carefully the situation from the customer’s point of view. And then control the situation with polite language. This will placate the customer and ensure her that you’re ready to help without any deception.
  • Acknowledge- Acknowledge the customer’s complaint and her concerns without ignoring any of them.
  • Refocus- Now, refocus the customer’s attention to the trouble at hand. Explain her how you’ll solve it.
  • Problem solve- Once the solution has been found, solve the customer’s problem which she initially came for. Assure the customer of the problem been solved to her satisfaction.

6. Respond don’t React!
You and I have issues, even the customers do. Hence, never take any customer complaints personally. Take it in a positive way which will only help to become better. The most important thing to remember is that handle customers by responding correctly and not reacting!

Indian Academy of Management (IAM) is also conducting a practical seminar for corporate personnel who want to master the art of handling customer complaints effectively. This seminar will be delivered by an expert professional who is himself a gold medalist in Mass Communications & holds First Class Masters Degree from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. Know more

1 comment :

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