As a business owner, we know you strive to keep each of your customers happy and satisfied. In a perfect world, this goal is never challenged and you never receive negative feedback or complaints. In reality, as a business owner you should expect angry calls from disgruntled and irate customers. If you accept that you will receive these types of conversations, you can train your team to properly handle the calls when they come in.
So if you’re researching how to respond to negative feedback, keep reading to understand how you can turn your customers’ frowns upside-down.
Be Prepared to Receive Calls
In order to assist your customers with their comments and complaints, you have to be available when they’re ready to speak their mind. No matter how much online business you have, you still need a direct business telephone number that your customers can call you on.
Consider outsourcing your after-hour calls to a 24-hour live answering service to speak with night and weekend callers on their timetable. You don’t want to send an angry customer to a voicemail. Likewise, you don’t want to have a robotic voice prompting them to press 9 to lodge a complaint and send them through a maze of prompts when they’re angry.
Train a Professional Customer Service Team
You need to either designate specific employees within your organization to handle customer service calls or you need to outsource this role to a professional customer service team. Either way, proper training and friendly professionalism are top qualities needed to effectively handle an angry or disgruntled customer.
We have provided professional customer service agents since 1986 and our basic telephone answering rates are as low as $19.95 per month. Click here to review our current rates and services if you’re interested in outsourcing your business calls.
10 Customer Service Traits to Focus On
For 30 years we have been known as experts in the telecommunications and customer service industry. In that time, we have designated these 10 customer service traits your customer service team needs to have in order to resolve a customer’s dispute.
- A Full and Informed Understanding of the Company
- The Ability to Listen Without Taking Things Personally
- Experienced in Active Listening to Reach the Core of a Complaint
- Kind, Professional and Attentive Throughout the Call
- Capable of Delivering an Empathetic and Sincere Apology
- Trained in Reaching Amicable and Beneficial Solutions
- Positive and Optimistic Energy to Change Customer’s Attitude
- A Gracious Demeanor When Accepting Customer’s Criticism
- Mood Control and Ability to Continue Day with a Cheerful Disposition
- Excellent Message Taking to Document Conversation for Supervisor
These characteristics seem like a tall order and an unattainable wish list for your customer service team. We understand; outstanding customer service representatives are hard to find but are well worth their weight in gold. When you provide customer service that focus on these top 10 customer service talents, you will have a better shot at satisfying and appeasing your angry customer.
To learn more about these specific traits, read our recent article posted: Tips to Handle Angry Customer Calls.
Top Reasons a Customer is Angry
Knowing the top reasons a customer becomes angry with your business is highly beneficial. When you know your company’s top complaints, you can proactively plan and prepare for those uncomfortable calls. Better yet, you can implement new policies and procedures to solve these chief complaints and cut off any problem before it arises.
These are the top general reasons a customer will call to complain and tips on how to respond to negative feedback.
- Poor Quality of Product or Service Purchased
This is the type of call you, as a reputable business owner, should want to avoid the most. If your product or service quality is low and you’re having to consistently process refunds to your dissatisfied customers, your business will eventually fail.
Provide your customer service representatives with alternative options to satisfy your customer before resorting to a full on refund. This will take some careful strategizing on you and your management team’s part. Develop mutually beneficial solutions and provide the information to your customer service reps.
- Hidden Charges or Undisclosed Fees
If you want to keep the image of your company trustworthy, you’ve got to clearly disclose all charges and fees associated with purchasing your product or service. If not, you are opening the gates to receive a flood of bad customer reviews and constant complaints that will tarnish your reputation.
Train your customer service representative to be sympathetic and apologetic when discussing your company’s rates, fees and charges. Assist your team and make sure to let your customer know the fees in black and white while they’re still in the purchasing process.
- Bad Customer Service Experience
You can’t pull a redo when it comes to delivering excellent customer service. You can’t take back a bad experience so all you can do is try to apologize and strive to do better. If your customer feels like your staff was rude or unpleasant, your customer service representative really has to wow them during their second experience.
Provide high standard customer service during the phone call and when done properly, you can change your customer’s perception of your company.
- Lack of Communication and/or Access
“67% of customers hang up on a phone connection out of frustration they could not talk to a real person and 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent.” If your customers are trying to reach you via telephone but are unable to, you’re basically asking them to go online and bad mouth your company. Whether they’re trying to make a change to their order; ask a quick question; or discuss their delivery date, you need to be easily accessible to keep their business.
This common complaint is easily fixed by hiring a live answering service to answer your after-hour or overflow calls. It’s awfully expensive to keep your in-house employees on-call and available 24/7. The only affordable option to open up your communication full-time is to outsource to a team of professional customer service agents.
Here at A Courteous Communications, we love sharing our high customer service standards that’ve kept us in business for three decades now. We are hopeful this article showed you some insight on how to respond to negative feedback and handle top customer issues.
Our customer service team is highly affordable and extremely talented when it comes to keeping your customers happy. We offer month-to-month custom services that allow you to experience how we work with your in-house team on a trial basis to start.