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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.