I just want to share this
November 22, 2008 9:33pm CST
I was going over some handouts my co-teacher shared with me and I saw this one-page notes on Customer Complaints (and how to handle them). I would like to share it all of you. Try to find out if you have been in such situation either as a customer or someone (perhaps, a manager) who has to deal with the situation. According to the handouts, there are 3 kinds of customer complaints. Have you been a customer with the following complaints? Or have you been a manager or supervisor who had to deal with the following complaints? Let us find out! 1. Legitimate complaints that the employee can solve: This one is a "no-brainer". The employee needs to solve the problem immediately, doing whatever it takes to not only repair the problem, but to repair the relationship. Don't let your employee settle for just replacing a broken product; do more because the customer took the time to come in. Perhaps refund their full amount of money. Doing "just the bare minimum" will leave you with a customer that is not completely satisfied dealing with your company. 2. Legitimate complaints that the employee cannot solve: These can take two forms: either a new problem that has occurred that no one was aware of or a problem that you are aware of that is being dealt with. If it's a new problem (like a fault in the product that providing a new product will not solve) then you may need to empower your employee to take the customer to the competition and buy the product from them. Of course this should not be the first or most common response, but you will want to educate your employee and let them know that you are willing to go that far to make sure a customer is happy. If it's a problem that is ongoing in your company, you will want to train your staff in how to respond. One common employee response to customer complaints is "I'm sorry about the wait, we're so understaffed." Understaffing is an issue, but the solution isn't always to hire more people. However, your employees may not understand that and thus it becomes a training issue. Don't let them take a customer complaint as an opening to complain about the business. Instead, empower the employee to make it right with the customer and leave it at that. 3. Ill-founded complaints: Some content has been written about this idea, but not enough. The reality is that customers are sometimes wrong...or they simply don't understand how the business works and their reaction is to complain about the issue: price, for example, or quantity, or value, or wait times. Your employees face these complaints on a regular basis and are probably the least equipped to deal with them. However, an incorrect response could make a customer feel stupid and send them off to your competitors. To resolve these problems, ask your employees for the most common complaints in which the customer is wrong. Then work to create an environment where those questions don't come up. It could be as simple as improving signage, proactively walking the client through the process, or offering a brochure that doesn't market what you do but rather provides a step by step process of how you do it. Well, as a customer, I have experienced being in situation number 1 and 2. As a business owner, I have experienced the three...
24 Nov 08
I have been a business owner, a manager and sales staff...retail sales have played a big role in my life. In my opinion, none of the scenarios you presented is realistic. A staff member cannot take on the responsibility you mention in situation one. That situation calls for a manager or someone at the top level. In situation 2, I can never imagine sending the staff member to the opposition to replace the object...that would simply never happen. The second part of Number 2 is a bit of a cop out. A lot of stores do not give adequate training, particularly in the area of customer complaints. Situation 3 is similar to situation 2 and all comes down to training again. The places that get the most customers, get the most complaints and have the highest staff turnover. These staff receive minimal training, are shown little or no respect by their managers and therefore not by the customers either.
23 Nov 08
The customer is always right is one of the most important business expressions. And the customers coined this expression to their advantage even he is in the wrong. As a business owner I don't really agree on this principle as through my experiences, the customer isn't always right. But we cannot argue much on this as it might not do justice to our business entity. We have to practice patience when in business. To that effect I have instill some rulings to my staff and to get the customer service message through to them. It takes months to find a customer, seconds to lose one if we have bad public relation. I have told my staff that if we don't take care of our customers, somebody will. Since a customer is the most important visitor to our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an outsider in our business - he is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving time, he is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so. I have told my staff to treat any customer as the king and that is why the customer is always right. I also told my staff that it is not me who is paying their salaries, it's the customer. They get this message well and that is the reason why I have repetitive customers who patronize my lounge. They rate my place as 'best service in town'