Leveraging the Power of Proactive Customer Service
The first step in resolving any customer service complaint is to set up a relationship with the company. If your company employees are always calling, emailing, or texting complaining customers, their relationship with you isn’t ideal.
They’re the only ones who know your company’s standard and want to make your business an easy place to work. The first step to fixing a customer ‘s relationship with your company is establishing a relationship and asking questions.
1. Set up a system to investigate complaints.
Make sure that your company is taking the time to set up a complaint investigation process and make sure you have a system in place to hand it out to customers when they call in a complaint. The complainant and the first party will be the focus, but as a business owner, your company must be on the same page.
Use different timelines for different parts of the investigation. For example, if a complaint is called in at 1 p.m. and you’re still late to the office at 6 p.m., they may still get support from you. “Set up a system for monitoring actions you take to make complaints less likely to occur in the future,” says Michael Schneier, Head of Operations at Hilliard Brands Group. “This allows you to take proactive steps to address issues in a timely manner to make those complaints less likely to occur in the future. ”
Take notes of what your employees are doing, and reference the written procedures that specify when and how they will respond to customers who have issues. In addition, find ways to assist the complainant and make sure that they have a voice in the decision-making process.
Take notes of what does and doesn’t sit right with a company representative.
2. Stand behind your IT systems and procedures.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: IT should be the first line of defense for your company. Your IT department should be aware of everything that you are doing to your customer service infrastructure. “To the extent that your IT is present and helpfully supporting your company , your customers will hopefully be benefiting,” says Jason Park, Director of Operations at Freshness Software, a provider of software solutions.
3. Track complaints internally.
The same goes for customers. They need to be aware of any problems they have with the customer service process. This will be the first step in resolving the customer’s relationship with your company. Locate the complaints that your customers have to go through and track what happens within the system, according to Park.
When your business is ready to address the complaints, the issue can be identified, either as “happy-hour” or “problem-solving” depending on how the customer does their job, say the experts.
Do this before you write any notes or recommendations to your manager.
4. Respond quickly.
If you don’t find your customers’ problems solved within the first 24 hours after receiving a complaint, you’ll need to be fast to solve the issue. There’s nothing more annoying than waiting several days for help to arrive or when they appear to be receiving a lot of complaints. These excuses will generally be unfounded, and if a customer can’t be right all the time, they’ll turn to you.
5. Show your understanding.
If your customers keep complaining and the brand doesn’t understand their concerns, or even tries to hide them, your customers aren’t likely to keep coming back. Some companies don’t share their real feelings when dealing with customers, but your company should do so. If they don’t, you should respond to them often and without the need for intermediaries. If a customer does call your company in a complaint, let them know the truth.
Even if they feel helpless, they can still voice a concern and you will hear back.
6. Refer questions to other departments.
If a company starts to have issues with their customer service, consider outsourcing some of the skills they’re hiring as employees. You should also get help from other departments that can help you develop an appropriate response for customers.
7. Be transparent about situations.
When a company gets ready to fix the same issues with their customers, it’s important to give them some time to react and test their processes. They’ll likely have a lengthy message to send, so it’s important to notify them as soon as they have their first feedback.