A Failsafe Guide To Preventing Customer Complaints

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Every business owner will be aware of the old adage, ‘the customer is always right.’ In a day and age when competition is par for the course across all industries, and client reviews play an increasingly integral role, customer service has never been more important. If you’re keen to preserve a 5-star rating, here’s a failsafe guide to keeping customer complaints at bay.

Customer engagement and communication

We all have experience of trying to contact a business as a consumer. The one thing that customers don’t want is to feel like they’re wasting time. Many of us live hectic lives, and people don’t have the time or the patience to hang around, waiting for you to get back to them. There’s nothing more frustrating than listening to the same jingle over and over again when a phone line is busy, or waiting for an email response to arrive to a query you submitted hours ago. As a company director, it pays to ensure you keep channels of communication open at all times and that it’s simple and stress-free to get in touch. If you don’t want to man phones 24-hours-a-day, investigate options like an answering service company or use online features like live chat and social media messaging. If you keep existing or potential customers waiting, or you don’t get back to them at all, there’s every chance that they will choose a competitor. 

Delivering on promises

Failing to deliver on a promise is the most common reason for customer complaints. If you offer a service, a buyer expects to pay their money and receive that product or service in line with the terms you laid out. If you run a store, for example, and you’ve promised next-day delivery, make sure you can dispatch and deliver that item on time. There may be times when delays occur, and the situation is beyond your control. In this case, contact your customer as soon as you become aware of any problems, offer an explanation, and provide a resolution. In this scenario, you could refund the delivery charge, arrange for the product to arrive the day after, and give the buyer a discount on the next purchase. If you fail to impress your customers with the service you offer, you run the risk of attracting negative attention, and this will put prospective clients off. Make sure you can fulfill every promise you make. 

Don’t forget about your loyal customers

One of the most pressing concerns for existing customers is that they get forgotten about. Competition is a driving force in business, and this often means that companies go all-out to sign up new clients and entice customers who haven’t decided which business to choose yet. It’s actually a lot easier to sell to existing clients, and if you continue to impress, word of mouth and positive reviews can also provide you with more customers. Reward loyalty and always ensure that your customers feel valued. 

It’s virtually impossible to please 100% of customers 100% of the time, but this should always be your aim. Social media and online reviews are so influential today, and this means that even one bad comment can dent your reputation. Take these handy tips on board to prevent customer complaints and retain an excellent rating.

All Business Relationships Survive & Thrive In The Following Ways:

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Businesses are known for acting in a relatively selfish manner. We all know that while a business might exercise goodwill and be ran by profoundly decent people, the structure of a business must be geared towards survival if it hopes to continue. Even non-profit organizations in pursuit of a great cause will need funding to pay salaries, office rental, and a range of logistical costs to ensure their work can be achieved. This means, just like people, our businesses can be friendly up until a point, as long as their basic needs are met.

However, just like human relationships, sometimes a firm can help itself survive by allying itself with those around it. Businesses can thrive on goodwill just as human partnerships can, and not only survive, but thrive. It can be essential to know where to begin if you hope to establish yourself as more of a reliable force in the market.

Consider our advice:

Goodwill Between Firms

Goodwill often comes in the form of little actions. For example, you may decide to forgo a current small debt thanks to a large upcoming order, or perhaps deliver the goods for free despite the relative cost incurred to you. You may send free sample or full products to their office. For example, if you supply a firm with computer parts, you may send a batch of branded mouse-mats for free to help them set up. View this guide to nurturing your supply chain relationships for even more advice regarding upstream and downstream business connections.

Goodwill can also mean referring them to another firm who could better settle inquiries you can’t quite manage, putting in a good word for them. It might be that you offer free training, or something simple. A restaurant might offer discounted delivery lunches for staff of an office responsible for handling their marketing. This kind of goodwill connects firms, people, and helps out in small ways. It is akin to having a friend. In such a competitive industry, this can feel like a breath of fresh air.

Take Care Of The Customer

The customer isn’t always right, but they are always valuable. This means that taking steps to take care of your customers will often help them take care of you in kind. Remaining honest about how products are made, honoring long-term customers with loyalty rewards, celebrating customers with an outreach program or generally doing everything you can to keep quality high will result in a carefully considered relationship that helps honesty travel in both directions.

Remain Transparent

Remaining transparent is the easiest method of gaining trust. Let’s say one of your business partners commits a PR nightmare, such as posting a tweet that has vaguely abhorrent political undertones. This sounds like an unlikely scenario, but it happens. Your connection to a firm like this can be a PR nightmare for yourself also, so disconnecting from them but doing nothing to hide your previous relationship can show you are committed to living by your values. Or, it might be that you believe the firms intention was mischaracterized, and sometimes sticking by them can show rationality and dedication that both customers and other businesses may appreciate.

With these tips, we hope your business relationships remain worthwhile.

Giving Clients A Meeting To Remember

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Working for your own business isn’t like having a normal job. If you want to succeed while running something like this, you have to be prepared to compete, as you will almost certainly have other companies ready and waiting to take the work which you’re not able to get. As a big part of this, first impressions can be very important when you’re trying to secure a client. To help you to use this to your advantage, making your first meeting into something they will always remember, this post will be exploring some of the work you will have to do along the way.

Learn About Them: While it may seem a little too ambitious, learning about someone’s personal life can be very helpful when you’re trying to make a meeting which is perfect for them. Knowing what they enjoy spending their time on, the food they like, and the sorts of people they tend to associate with can all be found on websites like Facebook. With people posting all of the intimate details of their life, it is worth taking full advantage of platforms like this, especially when you’re working on competing with other businesses.

Do Something They Like: Once you have an idea of what your prospective client is interested in, you can start to look for activities which will make them happy. For example, if they like to play golf, spending some time during your meeting on the course will give you the chance to take their mind off the other companies they’ve been seeing. You may have to invest in a few things, like clubs and ultra lightweight golf bags, but this will be worth it once you have a new client. Of course, though, you will need to make sure that you can talk properly during the meeting.

Plan And Prepare: When you’re getting ready for a meeting like this, it’s worth treating it in a similar way to a job interview. You will need to practice what you plan to talk about, planning for all of the questions they might have for you. Going through this process may seem a little over the top, but it will make it much easier to get things right when you’re nervous about the person you’re talking to.

Don’t Push Too Hard: Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the sorts of conversations you’re going to have during your meeting. In most places, it’s customary to start something like this with a little bit of small talk. This will make it look like you’re genuinely interested in sparking a business relationship with them, rather than simply working towards making sales, and this will always make you look good.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of making memorable meetings for your clients. A lot of people struggle in this area, finding it hard to now exactly what needs to be done when they’re trying to impress another business. In reality, though, this is quite simple, as long as you’re willing to do things which they enjoy.