Addressing customer complaints is part of running any business. No matter how successful your business is, you will occasionally deal with a dissatisfied customer. Rather than viewing a complainer as a nuisance, look at his complaint as an opportunity to learn how to improve your product or service. Be open to hearing what he has to say and be proactive in your response.
Things You'll Need
- Grievance forms
- Customer feedback surveys
- Trained employees
How to Reduce Customer Complaints
Have an action plan for customer complaints. When a customer complains, what she is really doing is telling you how you can improve your service. Have a system in place so customer-service employees can document complaints. Create a customer-grievance form your employees can fill out when a customer is unhappy. Management should collect the grievance forms periodically and review them to identify recurring complaints.
Survey all customers for feedback on their buying experience. There are a number of ways to do this. You can have survey forms that can be filled out and dropped in a container. Or you can hand customers a survey form as they leave the store, offering incentives such as a 10 percent discount if they bring or mail it back. You could also have an online survey that offers a printable store coupon when completed. Your survey form can be as simple as the customer choosing a level of satisfaction from one to five in any given area of service, but leave space for additional comments.
Make adjustments based on customer feedback and complaints. Knowing what customers are complaining about will not help you reduce complaints unless you are willing to make changes. Have a brainstorming session with managers and employees to see what changes can be made to prevent customers dissatisfaction.
Train employees to provide excellent service. A well-treated customer is less likely to complain than a poorly treated one. The last thing a business owner wants is to have a customer become frustrated by a rude employee. Employees should be trained to treat customers with excellence and be given some leeway in their ability to address customer needs.