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How responding to complaints early can make a HUGE difference

Posted in , on Jan 08, 2019

I recently ordered branded merchandise from a company I have used before. They arrived, the quality wasn't good.

My customer experience with them went down. 


1) they responded straight away when I let them know.
2) they didn't get defensive or throw the rule book at me.
3) their communication style was friendly, up beat 'let's get this sorted for you'.
4) we agreed the best outcome and they dealt with it brilliantly.

My customer experience with them shot back up. I was inspired so much, I have used this example to three clients I am working with on their customer experience.

We don't always get it right, it's how we handle it that makes a HUGE difference to that customer returning and shouting great things about you.

Three questions for you then:

  1. Do you have a complaints procedure in place?

  2. Would it kick in as soon as a customer said they were unhappy?

  3. Would your team respond and get things done to make sure the customer was happy again?

To doo:

Here’s where I advise my clients to start with this and the focus of my To doo this time.

  1. Draw a mind map and highlight where, in your customer’s journey, they could complain.

  2. From taking an enquiry ‘no one has got back to me’ to being a customer ‘I'm not happy with the service I received’

  3. Now write down the steps you would want to see happen at each stage, if one of your prospects or customers' complained.

  4. Revisit your systems and see if there is a need to improve (take a look at ‘Marketing systems to improve (not necessarily to grow)’ as a reminder of where to start.

  5. From your notes, document the steps. Create a guide, a Complaints Procedure for your business. What those steps are, how and WHEN to respond - the genius of my example is that they reacted straight away, to put me at ease they were dealing with it.

  6. Now share the document with everyone. Even better, put some time in your diary to share it in a meeting or presentation.  Your full team need to know. Those who work direct with customers and those who are involved in making things happen. A clear message, ‘this is how we look after our customers when sometimes we don’t deliver as we would want to’. 

It’s an exercise I would strongly advise you to do. You can show it as part of your induction programme for new team members. You can revisit it as part of your internal marketing so it's well communicated and everyone naturally follows it. 

If you need help with creating a document to impress your customers when they’re not happy, get in touch on 0113 869 0107.