Winning at client grumblings – part 2

14 July 2017Myra Knoesen

How employees react to customer complaints can determine whether these customers remain loyal or move onto another company.

How you handle customer complaints says much about your character, your style, and your commitment to the customer experience.

In a continuation from part one, in part two of the article we will take a look at the strategies you can apply to transform a negative complaint into a positive complaint.

Put the client first

It is imperative to place yourself in your customer's shoes. They are angry, they want a solution and the process needs to happen at ease.

Listen to your customer and empathise with him or her, ensuring you get every one of the subtle elements. In this way, you are showing the client that you are fully aware and concerned about the issue at hand and that you are there to help them. Most importantly, the client will see that you are listening and are concerned.

Treat every situation uniquely, as every customer and every situation is always different. The customer will be delighted by an open attitude, and your willingness to do what it takes to resolve the issue. This will help build a new bond of trust.

Having had an ideal opportunity to talk straightforwardly with the client, apologise to the client for the hindrance and determine to find the answer. With a possibility that you may not solve the issue immediately, then deal with the client's desires. Try to disclose to them in direct terms what steps you will take to get to an answer. Give the client the exact course of action and when you will be providing feedback.

Core business practices

Essentially, at the core of every business is the client. If you want to turn customer complaints from negatives to positives, you need to create processes and strategies for handling complaints as they arise.

Having strategies in place will ease the processes and the amount of time it takes to solve problems, which helps put customers at ease, increasing satisfaction.

Training programs can also be implemented to ensure staff are well trained on how to handle complaints, offer solutions and ensure client satisfaction. Another key point is to record complaints and share them with staff. This is a great way to turn customer service complaints into learning opportunities for everyone on your staff.

The way companies handle grievances can mean the distinction between success and failure. Businesses that turn complaints into opportunities for building closer relationships with customers are the ones that are most likely to survive and prosper.

Handled correctly, customer service complaints can be excellent opportunities to build relationships and retain loyal customers. Use every experience, both positive and negative, to consistently improve your business.

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The FSB is thinking of scrapping Level II Regulatory Exam (which would have tested product knowledge) in favour of an approach that forces insurers to train staff and monitor their actions. Do you agree with this approach?


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