Whether we like it or not complaints happen in business. No matter what policies or practices you have in place to ensure superb customer service, there will be times when you will have an upset or unsatisfied customer. How a business handles these instances are often what separate the outstanding from the merely satisfactory.
The BBB of Vancouver Island processes nearly 1500 customer complaints against businesses each year. In the majority of these complaints, communications have broken down between the business and the customer.
The following are a few our insights into complaint handling:
- Start with Trust. No matter what the situation if you are committed to behaving in a trustworthy, ethical manner your chances of reaching a reasonable resolution are greatly increased.
- Talk directly to the person - in person or on the telephone.
- Deal with the problem right away. Letting issues fester can only do harm.
- Establish the facts - stay focused on the issue.
- Do not allow a conversation to bring up past problems or other issues outside of the current problem.
- Ask questions to understand the other person's perspective.
- Qualify your interpretation of the person's perception of the issue.
- Stay cool - take a deep breath; sometimes sleep on it!
- Pursue the discussion in good faith.
- Try to reach a compromise.
- Consider negotiating a truce; you may have to give something "extra" to make up for the perceived problem.
- Think about the value of your time in dealing with the issue.
BBB Accredited Business that need a little extra help in managing a difficult situation can contact the BBB for tips and suggestions on how best to handle the situation before it escalates into a formal complaint. For dispute resolution help and customer service tips contact Penny at 250.386.6348 ext 102