You Will Get A Complaint Every Once In A While
Customer complaints are not always the sign of your business performing poorly.
Complaints are feedback delivered the wrong way. Listening to each message a customer sends regardless the delivery is insightful and also helpful for your business to grow as well as learn.
Allowing the opportunity to listen, assess the situation, and address your customers’ complaint promptly is key to coping with your customers’ complaints. Studies show that 90% of customers will continue doing business with you even after complaints made, only if the situations fixed promptly and all parties are satisfied.
Handling complaints from clients are not always about being right, but having the willingness to make it right. So ladies and gentleman get your paper and pad!
Here are 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with customer complaints!
Step Number One: Don’t Take It Personally!
Taking complaints personally is easy to do, this is why don’t take it personally is number one in the 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with customer complaints.
When a customer presents a complaint, keep in mind the issue is not personal. He or she is not attacking you directly but rather the situation at hand. Be sure to take your emotions out of the equation.
Learn to ignore personal attacks, exaggeration, and foul language. Self-awareness and understanding go a long way in handling customers complaints effectively.
Allow them to “vent” and assure your client they are being heard without being sarcastic and empathize.
Step Number Two: Identify The Customer You Are Dealing With
Everyone has a different personality, being in the service industry you are prone to dealing with many of them.
This is why identifying the customer you are dealing with is number two in the 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with customer complaints. Dealing with a dissatisfied customer is enough to send you over the edge, but going in not knowing the type of customer you’re dealing with is even worse.
Having a game plan for each client type and having a format in place for each client type is ideal for resolving complaints swiftly and effectively. So how do you identify what kind of customer you are dealing with and the best way to respond?
1. The aggressive complainer
- Most challenging to please, more concerned with being heard vs. achieving a solution.
Avoid small talk, and get straight to the resolution. Allow options so they can feel as if they are in control of the situation. Make them feel you heard them.
2. The Expressive Complainer
Avoid too much detail and shoot for the big picture. Expressive complainers are more likely to complain openly to others and maybe not to you directly. They may use social media to express their dissatisfaction. Consider responding publicly, swiftly, and positively in return if so.
3. The Passive Complainer
Do not hurry or pressure the passive complainer. Constant reassurance is also needed.
4. The Constructive Complainer
Give them plenty of details and proof. Constructive complainers usually address their problems to the business.
Step Number Three: Listen To The Meaningful Complaints
Using a complaint analysis to track, categorize, and handle customer complaints is an efficient way to keep track of complaints.
Especially those that may reoccur or if a customer or if many customers are complaining about the same thing. When your customers make a complaint, he or she is voicing concern about the product or services your business offers.
This is why listening to meaningful complaints is the number three method in the 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with customer complaints. Not all complaints are the same, before taking action and validating this is a meaningful complaint you should ask yourself these questions:
- Has this happened before?
- How often has this complaint arisen?
- Has the complaint been recorded?
- How many customers have made this complaint?
- Is the same customer making the complaint? Is it about the same thing?
- How has the complaint been handled? Was it swiftly?
By answering these questions, you can take the necessary steps required to prevent them from happening again.
For example, if several customers complain about a specific issue using their feedback to improve your product or service.
Step Number Four: Have A Complaint Procedure Handling Guideline
Your complaint procedure handling guideline should reassure customers that you value their feedback and that you are committed to resolving their complaints in a fair, timely, and efficient manner.
Most customers are willing to do business with business even after a complaint has arisen. This is why having complaint handling guideline is number four of 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with a customer’s complaints.
Your complaint handling procedure should include the following:
- Listen to the complaint
- Thank the customer for bringing up the matter. Apologize and accept ownership.
- Record the details of the complaint
- Write out the complaint in full detail, so there’s an understanding for everyone involved. Keep records of all the complaints in a central place where there’s access for everyone. This method helps to identify the constant complaints and complainers.
- Get all the facts
- Be sure that you have a clear understanding and have all the necessary details written down correctly. Ask questions if needed.
- Act Promptly
- Aim to resolve the complaint quickly. Have a chain of command in place. – Know who can handle what situations and make what decisions.
- Keep your word
- Keep your clients informed and if there are any delays in resolving the situation. Do not promise things you can not deliver.
- Follow up on the resolution
- After fixing the complaint contact the customer to find out if they were satisfied with the resolution of their complaints. Let them also know that you are using their complaint as a learning experience.
If you have staff ensure they are trained to follow the procedures handling complaint put into place. Encourage your clients to provide feedback and complaints, so you will know when problems arise and allow you the opportunity to resolve it.
Step Number Five: Avoid The Non-Apology, Apology
When you sincerely apologize, customers sense the honest, and the problem quickly diffuses.
Blaming another person or department tends to send off signals of dismissal and condescension. Using language that removes you or your hair business from responsibility is a problem.
This is why step number five of 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with customer complaints is number five.
Avoid saying things like:
- I’m sorry if you’re unhappy with your service but…
- Mistakes have definitely made…
- It’s unfortunate things turned out this way…
Step Number Six: Actively Listen To Your Customers Complaints
Actively listening is one of the most important skills you can have.
How well you listen to your clients has a significant impact on your effectiveness and quality of response to complaints. This is why actively listening to your customer’s complaints is number six in the 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with customer complaints.
Here’s how you should actively listen:
- Actively Pay Attention
- Look at your customer directly
- Put aside any distracting thoughts
- Don’t mentally prepare a response
- Avoid being distracted by things around you. (side conversations etc.)
- “Listen” to the customer’s body language
- Show Them You Are Listening
- Use your body language and gestures to show them you are engaged
- Nod occasionally
- Smile and use appropriate gestures and facial expressions
- Provide feedback for a better understanding
As a listener, your role is to understand what is said and to ask questions.
– Reflect on what is being said by paraphrasing
Ask questions to clarify essential points for example, is this what you mean?
– If you find yourself responding emotionally to what a customer is saying, inform them. Ask for more information: “ I may not be understanding you correctly, and I find myself taking what you said personally. This is what I thought you said, is that what you meant?
- Defer Judgement
- Interrupting is a waste of time
- Allow the customer to finish their thoughts and complaints before asking questions.
- Do not interrupt with a counter-argument.
- Respond Appropriately
- Be open and honest with your response
- Give your opinions honestly and respectfully
- Treat them how you want treatment
Active listening is to encourage, respect, and understand. You are trying to gain information and perspective. Attacking the customer adds nothing but more conflict to the situation.
Step Number Seven: Avoid Overcompensating Or Making Promises You Cannot Keep
Overcompensation is always a go to when you have a customer complaint.
But believe it, or no it is not the best strategy, this is why avoiding overcompensating or making promises you cannot keep is number seven in 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with customer complaints.
It’s understandable to want to immediately correct everything as soon as you hear about a complaint within your business. However, making promises, you cannot keep with further escalate the complaints.
Remain calm, reassure your customer everything will be taken care of to the best of your abilities, and resolve the problem.
Step Number Eight: Give Crystal Clear Communication
Communicating during the entire process from beginning to end will make the customer feel as if they are apart of the resolution.
This is why giving crystal clear communication is number eight in 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with customers complaints. Even if everything is going to plan, inform and reassure your customer every step of the way about the action plan you decided on to resolve the issue.
If something is delayed or cannot be done, inform the customer of this as well.
Step Number Nine: Verify The Resolution
You want to be sure that your customer is clear on the resolution that is occurring, and if it met their needs.
This is why verifying the resolution to your customer is number nine in 10 steps to help business owner cope with customer complaints. Make sure the resolution is satisfying for everyone involved. Asking if there’s anything else that can further assist them is a great place to start.
Follow up 24 to 48 hours after a complaint resolved. Try picking up the phone and calling them personally or write a handwritten note.
Step Number Ten: Treat Your Customers With Genuine Respect
Customers want treatment of genuine respect and as if they are apart of a family. This is why treating your customers with genuine respect is number ten in 10 steps to help hair business owners cope with customers complaints. Here are a few tips for demonstrating respect:
- Treat your customer with courtesy, politeness, and kindness
Encourage your clients to express their opinions and ideas
Listen to what other customers have to say with expressing their viewpoint
Use their ideas to change or improve your work
Let them know they are valued
Everyone Makes Mistakes, Even Business Owners
Dwelling on customer complaints will not move your business forward.
Most companies receive customer complaints, its all about how to handle them. You can’t please everyone. View customer complaints as a regular routine of business, try not to dwell on them.
Although it is a routine part of business ensure that you have your action plan in place to handle your complaints in a timely, effective manner. Customers who do decide to give you another chance will inform their friends, family, and co-workers and more about the strong customer care your business has provided. Have you dealt with customer complaints in your business? If so, how did you resolve the problem? Are they still a customer?
If you implement these steps and they work, let us know about your experience!
May your best hair days be ahead of you!