If there is anything that we have learned about customers, it is this: they are very vocal when it comes to something that displeases them. It would be highly important for any boss to know how to deal with it when it arises.
Here are a few pieces of advice borne out of our personal experiences:
Cooler heads will always prevail. An irate customer will only level up in their rage if you are meeting them on that wavelength. Unless the customer is threatening you or your employees with bodily harm, it is always good to exercise patience.
No, you do not have to smile at the irate customer. However, take care to keep your face blank of any unpleasantness in order to smooth over the situation.
Assess Legitimacy of Complaint
A lot of the time, people tend to complain for the sake of complaining. One time, we had a guy come in and pick a fight with our staff—he found fault with everything. In the end, it turns out that he didn’t actually have a complaint and simply needed to pick a fight in order to sort out some stress from his system.
As a boss, you need to train your people to be able to assess the legitimacy of a complaint. This will save you all from a lot of unnecessary trouble down the road.
No, the Customer is NOT Always Right
If there was anything that we’ve learned in our years of being in business, there will always be an unending supply of unreasonable people that are empowered with the wrong belief that “the customer is always right”. This is the stick that they use to beat people in businesses when they aren’t getting their way.
As a boss, it is important that you are able to assess where the issue is from. If the irate customer is being completely unreasonable or abusive towards you or your employee, you need to step up.
This refers to documentation of the issue. If a complaint has been logged, it would be good to be aware of it. Assess where the issue stems from and keep a record of it. This will help you improve your processes and safeguard any reoccurrences from happening.
When we refer to documentation, you need to have the issue, the handling, and the eventual resolution. Keep them so that you can always look back and draw lessons from them.
As You Can See
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. While yes, it is important that they are kept happy, you should never do it at the cost of a good employee. As a boss, it is important that you be able to ascertain the validity of the complaint and how it should be handled. If the complaint stems from an employee error, you need to be able to make good judgments not just about this time but how to avoid similar instances in the future.
When it comes down to it, what do you do when a client complaints?