Regardless of how customer-centric your business is, infrequent complaints are inevitable. Whether they occur in-store or online, these complaints present distinct opportunities to rectify the situation and provide a positive customer experience.
How to Turn Customer Complaints Into Positive Experiences in 12 Simple Steps
By actively listening to a customer’s concerns, a business can demonstrate empathy, build trust, and find effective solutions that remedy the problem at hand, thereby encouraging the customer to return.
To that end, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council share a few key steps you can take to respond to negative feedback and create a positive outcome for the consumer and, ultimately, your business.
1. Commence With An apology.
Whether dealing with an online or in-store complaint, begin by apologizing for the inconvenience and assuring the customer that you will make things right.
Customers may become agitated because they have had a negative experience with the solutions you provide. In order to ensure effective communication, you should first focus on soothing them down. Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
2. Attempt To Recognize The ‘Why’
When a consumer lodges a complaint, it is crucial to empathize with their situation in order to improve their experience. Establishing rapport and gaining an understanding of why they are experiencing the problem will allow you to provide a satisfactory resolution. Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile Company
3. Consider the Situation a blessing.
When a consumer has a complaint, regardless of how strange this may sound, view it as a gift, as most unhappy customers do not bother to leave feedback.
Connect with the user and determine precisely what can be done to resolve the issue. In many cases, it does not take much time or effort to convert a negative one-star review into a glowing five-star review. Daman Jeet Singh, FunnelKit
4. Adhere To A Powerful Script
You must equip your teams with protocols and training on empathy and complaint resolution. First and foremost, customers must feel heard and believed, and then you must communicate your desire to improve the situation.
Through active listening and problem-solving, cultivate a relationship with your audience, especially a complaining audience. Capala, Matthew, Alphametic
5. Make use of the Imago Technique.
We employ the Imago technique to diffuse any complaints. This involves three steps: mirroring, or reflecting back what the client said, which demonstrates that you “get it” and are listening; validation, which sounds like “Anyone would feel that way” or “It’s completely understandable that you feel that way”; and empathy, which makes people feel heard and cared for. Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage
6. Respond In A Timely fashion.
Rapid response is essential for turning a consumer complaint into a victory. Users are much less likely to collaborate with you if you respond to their feedback after several hours or days. Having a live chat team on your website and social media that can connect with users minutes after they share their views is one way to mitigate this risk. John Turner, SeedProd LLC
7. Request An Explanation From The customer.
When a consumer expresses a concern or complaint, you should request a thorough explanation of the situation. Often, it is simpler to determine the cause of a problem if you know what the parties involved were doing prior to the occurrence of the issue.
Once you have determined what went wrong, you will be able to discover a solution and significantly enhance their experience. Christoff, Chris, MonsterInsights
8. Accept Responsibility For The Issue
The best advice I can give to improve a customer’s experience is to take ownership of the complaint and demonstrate a proactive approach to finding a solution.
Redirecting blame or offering justifications can leave consumers feeling unheard and underappreciated. Actively resolving customer complaints demonstrates integrity and enhances your business’s reputation as a customer-focused organization. FE International’s Ismael Wrixen
9. Acknowledge and Take Sufficient Action
Acknowledge the consumer and take the necessary measures to address their concerns. You demonstrate that you value their feedback and take their issue seriously by addressing their concerns and taking appropriate action when required.
One thing to bear in mind is that you should never take complaints personally but rather view them as an opportunity to improve your business processes or products. Julian Hamood, Reliable Technology Team
10. Treat The Customer As A celebrity.
When a customer lodges a complaint, consider them a VIP and resolve it as quickly as possible. By prioritizing their concerns and taking prompt action, you demonstrate that their experience is of utmost importance. This not only resolves their issue but also fosters a sense of value and trust, enhancing their overall experience and laying the groundwork for a long-term customer relationship. Adam Preiser, WPCrafter
11. Keep cool and composed.
Customers complain when they are dissatisfied and frustrated with your products and services; therefore, you must maintain your composure and remain tranquil in such situations. Sincerely apologize to them and take swift action to resolve the issue. Don’t neglect to follow up to determine if their issue has been resolved and if they require additional assistance. AffiliateWP’s Andrew Munro
12. Acknowledge Appreciation For The comments.
Although it is disheartening to hear customer complaints and receive negative feedback, you must embrace these as blessings. Thank the customer for bringing it to your attention, and attentively consider their concerns. Let them speak first, then assure them that you’ll address their concerns immediately while sticking to your word. OptinMonster’s Thomas Griffin