Building a business is like building a relationship. We all slip up at some point and make mistakes. It’s how we deal with our shortcomings that really matters…and learning from them.
As a dissatisfied customer, I learned three important lessons in customer service today:
- Don’t annoy your leads/clients
- If you do irritate them, respond to their frustration in a timely manner
- Not matter the situation, be polite and professional
Receiving customer complaints via web forms and email is proving to be less and less effective. The main reason: response time. Our follow up expectations have skyrocketed in this digital age of real-time data.
How long is too long? Many users would agree that a response within 24 hours is necessary. Others are less patient.
So you or one of your employees made a boo boo. As a business owner, what are the right steps to take when responding to your customers’ complaints online?
Help your customer one to one:
- Use Click-to-Call and Live Chat on your site so people can get in touch with you immediately (and free). Don’t anger your customer more by forcing them to wait on hold and pay for it.
- Set up Twitter/Facebook pages and monitor them regularly. It’s important to know what people are saying about your company–good and bad.
- If a customer complains, respond honestly, transparently, professionally and address their concern. Don’t try to hide and ignore bad reviews/Tweets. It can backlash into a bigger issue.
Always try to move the conversation to a more private setting. Offer to help your customer over email, chat or phone. New ways to complain in real-time are developed every day. Don’t risk getting a bad reputation and put your customers first.