HANDLE COMPLAINTS QUICKLY
1. Respond immediately. This is vital in order to take away some of the initial anger.
2. Remember that the way a complaint is handled can linger in the customer's mind much longer than the complaint itself.
3. Don't promise what you can't achieve. Otherwise, you'll simply aggravate the customer further.
4. Keep the customer informed of your progress in sorting out the problem. This includes setting out a time scale for the solution at the outset, and informing the customer of any delays at once. Bad news is better than no news.
5. Give your customer the opportunity to vent frustration and anger. This means listening carefully until they have let off steam.
6. Don't challenge the customer or try to win an argument. Your tone should be as neutral as possible. This should help calm and irate person.
7. Find something you can agree on.
8. If you are unable to solve the complaint the way the customer wants offer a compromise. It helps if this is a solution which is worked out between the two of you, rather than imposed by you.
9. Try to explain your business rules as a benefit to the customer.
Finally, if an angry customer arrives at your business, try to persuade them to carry on the discussion "somewhere more comfortable" ie. in private. This should enable you to defuse an ugly situation without disrupting staff or other customers.
10. If the situation cannot be resolved between yourselves, then ask the Society to arbitrate for you. Having made it clear that both sides will accept the outcome, they will arrange to listen to both sides of the problem and come up with a decision that will be accepted by both sides.
Convention testimonials Andrew Fozard: Had plenty of inspiration at @TheSocieties convention last week. Loads of ideas to work my way through and develop my direction :-)
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