MN Business Tip Of The Day: Customer Complaints Are A Chance To Show Just How Good You Are

March 11, 2014  |  

Now that customers are taking their complaints online, responding promptly and professionally is a necessity for maintaining a great service reputation. You don’t want to be the company that is battered on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more.

In the same way that disgruntled rants can damage your company’s reputation, successful handling of complaints online can showcase your dedication to customer service – an excellent way to set yourself apart from the competition. Try handling the (hopefully) occasional complaint in the following way:

First learn to pick your battles. Depending on the size of your business, it can become extremely time-consuming addressing every blog post, comment or tweet. Look for the rants that are less than a few days old, on prominent sites and are about problems you can solve.

Next, offer full disclosure. Don’t pretend to be an unbiased consumer, be up-front about who you are and represent your company honestly. Take the conversation offline; refrain from hashing out disputes online for everyone to see. Keep responses polite and direct and ask the customer if you can contact them by e-mail or phone to discuss specifics. During your conversations don’t say anything privately that you wouldn’t say publicly. Your e-mails or phone dialogue could very well end up on the internet.

Finally, follow through. Don’t drop the conversation without a resolution. Include extra perks and coupons after the issue is resolved. However, in the same way you have to pick your battles, know when to walk away. At times there is no satisfying some customers and you may only be able to offer a sincere apology and walk away before the conversation degenerates into something a whole lot worse.

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