How to Handle Customer Complaints
Eventually every business will come across this challenge. And that is of how to handle customer complaints. These are not fun – but the way that these are dealt with are critical to future success of a cake business.
And how a business deals with those complaints is often the deciding factor in its long term success.
Even a home cake decorating business may run into complaints from time to time. Its best to know how to deal with them effectively.
Here are the 5 steps to handle customer complaints like a star.
1. Listen to Customer Complaints
There is one very important step which must happen first, when working how to handle customer complaints. And this is to listen to the objection in full. This is essential for handling and diffusing the situation.
This means without interruption and with your full attention. Listen to what the complaint is in its entirety so that you can find a suitable solution for it.
2. Remove Yourself
Distance yourself emotionally and don’t take the criticism personally. Not taking the objection to heart is something which should be done. And this stance should continue throughout the process of handling a customer complaint.
It may be hard to do when someone is complaining about something you’ve done or created. But you must remove your emotions from the situation. Do not take what the customer is saying to heart. Remember they are upset, but you don’t need to be!
However, this does not mean you should take abuse. There are ways to calmly dissuade a person who is using foul or directly abusive language.
Give the customer a second chance. Let them know the conversation will have to cease if they continue to use foul language.
Sometimes apologizing is the last thing you want to do when a customer is blowing off steam. Especially if you’re positive you didn’t do anything wrong. However, an apology is definitely the quickest way to begin diffusing the situation. And this will likely make the customer happy again. Here are a few examples of how to apologize even when you don’t feel like it:
“I apologize that this happened.”
“I am sorry to hear that.”
“I’m sorry for any frustration this has caused.”
4. Offer Options
Begin the road to recovery by offering the customer a two or three options for correcting the issue. This could be partial refunds, discounts, or a new product are a good place to start. Don’t ask the customer what they want. They may ask for the moon or feel even more frustrated because it is YOUR job to figure out a solution – not theirs.
Offer a couple of options and let them help you decide what is fair. This turns the dynamic of the conversation into a partnership. And will let them know you are willing to work with them.
5. Thank Them
End the conversation on a positive note. Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention. Tell them you are glad they worked with you to find a suitable solution for everyone. Say this with a smile and don’t be afraid to ask them to come back or to keep in touch via email, phone, or social media.
People remember how you make them feel. And they are way more likely to remember a positive outcome at the end – rather than the complaint at the start.
Remember – recommendations are more likely to arrive from someone who ends up happy. Rather than one who arrives angry.
So it’s worth putting some effort in to sort out the situation.
What are some ways that you have dealt with customer complaints? Have the customers left singing your praises?
Let us know – we would love to hear!
By the way….
If you are looking for help turning your skills and passion into a business to be proud of…
check out our Membership – The Cake Circle.
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Customer complaints normally arise from a misunderstanding, The cake decorator has achieved an order that differs from the customer expectations.
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