Handling Customer Complaints

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Let’s face it customer or client complaints are not fun, but they come with the territory. If you own a business, are an entrepreneur or freelancer you will inevitably encounter customer complaints at one point or another.

One of the best ways to do that is to create policies and procedures for your business. Having policies and procedures in place will help you and your team or staff to navigate the complaint.

It’s important to remember complaints are not personal attacks against your person. So don’t take them personally. They are simply the result of an unsatisfied result with your companies products or services. Now, if you are the business owner it may feel personal because this is your baby. You’ve worked very hard to achieve your success and you do not want to see any scars or blemishes on your company name.

Don’t despair! 

Handle the complaints fairly and honestly and be open and forthright about them and your company will be fine!

Now, you must also be careful not to cross the line into being an ogre. Sometimes when trying to separate your personal feelings you can get to hard or maybe you’ve been burned and has caused you to harden yourself. It happens! Just be aware of this, and be cautious not to overstep into that category and all will be well.

If you struggle with separating your feelings it might be a good idea to get a trusted non-biased third party opinion throughout the complaint process to ensure that you handle it fairly. YOUR Virtual Assistant can be your trusted third party. Before you even respond to the complaint talk it over with your trusted advisor. Write up your response, and have your trusted advisor or virtual assistant review it and make suggestions being careful to look for issues that might be read as a personal attack against the client or customer.

NOTE: It is important to handle them asap. So if there is going to be a delay in you giving an appropriate response because you need to discuss with your advisor or virtual assistant first, then you might want to create a template email that goes to all complaints upon receipt. That says something along the lines of…

“We have received your question, comment, or complaint and your communications are very important to us. One of our customer representatives will get back to you within (I recommend 24 hours, but 24 – 72 hours I think is industry acceptable in most cases.)”

Remember your clients or customers are not your enemies and you want to make them feel they are important to you and your business. So, while you’re trying to separate your personal feelings and keep it professional you’re trying to keep it warm and friendly at the same time. Sometimes this is a difficult environment to create. Especially, if you have personal feelings involved.

If your complaint cannot be dealt with via email and must be dealt with over the phone, you may want to practice your phone conversation with your trusted advisor or virtual assistant.

If you are still uncomfortable with handling the complaint for whatever reason, it is okay to have a third trusted party handle it for you. It might be someone within your company or it might be an outside professional such as YOUR Virtual Assistant, but it is important that the customer knows this person is a true representative of your company.

If you have a chronic complainer and you are a services based company, you do have the right to cut them lose. That’s the beauty of doing your own thing. You have the right to choose who you work with and won’t work with. Just be sure to do it professionally and do it in writing with notice. Never leave a customer hanging high and dry if it can be at all avoided, and continue to give them the same service level as before. Never let your service level slide no matter what. They will soon enough be a thorn in someone else’s side.

At Rhonda’s Virtual Office we can be your trusted third party. We can help you to facilitate your client or customer complaints by: reviewing the complaint and brainstorming the proper course of action with you, and what you would like the final outcome to be,

  1. reviewing your written communications prior to you sending them,
  2. writing them for you,
  3. helping you to practice your phone communications prior to making your call,
  4. and making the call for you.

We will represent you and your company in a highly professional manner. To learn more about how we can help you with your customer complaints or other services please contact us today!

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Christian Mom of 2, animal lover, your virtual business partner helping you create success in your business, owner and CEO of Rhonda's Virtual Office and Partner of One Life ... Plan-It! discovering new passions in my business everyday and loving it!

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