How to Resolve a Customer's Issue Effectively

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Keeping your customers happy is one of the biggest keys to running a successful business. Unhappy customers means lost revenue and a lower reputation because they tell others of their experiences with your business. The power of customer opinion means that you need to make customer service a priority and address each customer's issues both immediately and effectively to ensure your business' continued success.

  • Listen to the customer's complaints. One of the reasons customers get upset with a business is because they feel like their voices are not heard by the company. Listening closely---and without bias---will help you understand what your customer wants and how you can solve the issue amicably.

  • Apologize and summarize the customer's complaint. This ensures that you and the customer are on the same page about the problem and so no miscommunication happens during the resolution process. You do not want to find out afterward that the customer is still upset because you did not actually solve his issue.

  • Ask the customer how he wants his problem solved. This will help you understand what the customer is looking for so you can accurately determine if his solution is possible or not.

  • Create a solution. You will likely know if the customer's expectation is doable or not. If it is doable, let the customer know that you can fix his issue and give an estimated timetable of when he can expect a resolution. If the customer's solution is not realistic, apologize and give alternative solutions. If you do not have a solution on the spot, tell him how long it will take to come up with an alternative and stick to it.

  • Agree on the solution. You may even want to put what you will do in writing, especially if it involves a lot of money or labor on the part of your company. That way, both parties are on the same page if something else goes wrong.

  • Fix the problem according to the parameters and timetable set between you and the customer. Always communicate with the customer if something changes.

  • Follow up with the customer after the issue is resolved. This extra bit of customer service will make the customer happy and head off any additional complaints or issues the customer may have with your products or service.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is best to underpromise and overdeliver when it comes to customer service.
  • Never yell at or tell your customer that he's wrong. This creates a hostile atmosphere and escalates the problem.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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