Why Dealing Positively With Complaints Is Crucial

A key area that all retailers have to have a positive focus on, is dealing with complaints. One of my biggest frustrations is trying to get a problem fixed when things go wrong. We have all been there, a product we purchased doesn’t work, a garment is defective, and whatever the problem is we just want it resolved quickly and promptly. This is when the frustration starts, what should be a simple thing becomes difficult, adding to the already inconvenience of the original problem.

Some companies do it well, yet others need to step up and improve their processes or run the high risk of losing customers forever. Research tells us only a small number of customers will actually complain, a massive 90% plus, don’t even bother and a lot of these customers won’t come back as a result. If we receive the gift of a customer complaint, which is the way we should look at them, then we need to have a good process in place to deal with it.

Providing training and guidelines to your frontline team is the way to go. Train them in the simple steps to positively handle complaints and provide some parameters, so they can make most decisions on the spot. This massively increases the customer’s experience and most will return and become even more loyal.

When I’m complaining about something, (which is very rarely) all the good service in the world amounts to nothing if they don’t fix the problem. We are all time poor, so businesses have to have a simple process that the team can follow.

Now I’m not saying we should just refund at the drop of a hat, but empowering a frontline team member to deal with these situations is critical. Every business must do this as this is one area that is often done poorly. Yet when it is done well, ensures a satisfied customer, generates lots of goodwill and creates customer loyalty.

I would strongly recommend that you review your returns policy and ensure that you train your frontline team as well as provide them with the authority to deal with situations, without scripts, and with the customer as their focus. Think of how much time it will save as well as the goodwill.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.