How to handle customer complaints
- 1 Actively encourage feedback from customers - including complaints if they are dissatisfied.
- 2 Establish a clear complaints-handling procedure; ensure that all employees who come into contact with customers understand it.
- 3 Be polite and sympathetic; listen to what the customer has to say.
- 4 Take ownership of the complaint; give your name as a contact even if you will have to involve others in resolving the complaint.
- 5 Establish the facts; consider whether any internal investigation is needed to gather further information.
- 6 Record the details of the complaint, including when it was made, customer name and contact details.
- 7 If possible, deal with the complaint immediately; if necessary, agree a deadline for getting back to the customer.
- 8 Carry out any necessary further investigations.
- 9 If the complaint has potentially significant legal consequences, contact your legal adviser.
- 10 If there is a long delay, keep the customer informed of progress.
- 11 Once you have established that the complaint is justified, make appropriate restitution; apologise for your error.
- 12 Be prepared to reject unreasonable complaints or unreasonable demands, but in a positive way: explain what you can offer.
- 13 If appropriate, take internal action to prevent the problem recurring for example, training staff or improving systems.
- 14 Follow up by contacting the customer to check that the complaint has been resolved to their satisfaction.
- encourage feedback
- be polite and sympathetic
- take ownership of any problems
- deal with complaints as quickly as possible
- address the underlying causes of problems
- be defensive
- pass the buck
- make excuses