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Customer Complaint Management

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Complaint handling
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Customer Complaint Management

  2. 2. OBJECTIVES At the end of this training session, you will be able to: Identify reasons why a complaint is a gift from the customer to the service provider Note what to expect from customers when they make complaints Identify how to handle customer complaints Learn strategies to redeem yourself when you have failed in providing the customer the level of expected service
  3. 3. CONTENT What is a Complaint? Identifying A Complaint As A Gift Steps For Handling Customer Complaints Service Recovery Process Handling Difficult Customers
  4. 4. SESSION 1 What is a Complaint?
  5. 5. What is a Complaint? “An expression of dissatisfaction made to an organization, related to its products or services, or the complaints-handling process itself, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected” 5
  6. 6. Why do customers complain? Their expectations have not been met! To release their anger To help improve the service Because of concern for others who also use the service 6
  7. 7. Why do customers complain? What proportion of unhappy customers complain? Generally 9% to 37% of unhappy customers make complaints to the firms. The rest never bother to complain Why don’t unhappy customers complain? They think it is not worth the time or effort. They further think that no one would be concerned about their problem or solve it. They do not know where to go or what to do. Each happy customer will tell at least six other people
  8. 8. Most common complaints... Wrong information Poor customer service attitude Overpricing Lack of adequate information Delays Unresponsiveness of service providers …. ……
  9. 9. The customer is not always right but... The customer is always the customer and this means simply that solving the problem is often more important than who is right. If you can solve their problem without blaming yourself or others, you will reduce stress, everyone will feel better and you will be on your way to attaining CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
  10. 10. SESSION 2 Identifying a Complaint as a Gift
  11. 11. Is a complaint a gift? Why? Complaints are gift packages waiting to be opened because they: Are given freely Are not solicited by the recipient organization Are unexpected…they come as a surprise (usually) Hold the key to happiness for the recipient organization If they are well handled 11
  12. 12. Is a complaint a gift? Why? A complaint gives you: Free direct communication from the customer about service failures, competitors offerings etc. without the added cost of conducting a survey Readily available market research: they define what customers want 12
  13. 13. Is a complaint a gift? Why? A complaint gives you the opportunity to: Increase customer trust Build long term relationships- customers will use your services again if they believe complaints are welcomed and addressed Rectify service failures Engage customers as advocates
  14. 14. Is a complaint a gift? Why? If a customer is complaining, you are being given a chance to retain that customer 14
  15. 15. The customer’s needs when they complain The customer has 2 separate needs when complaining- needs relating to the complaint needs as individuals and Example 1 Complaint – the product is not working as expected Underlying message – I don’t understand the new technology, I need help Example 2 Complaint- I was disappointed with the service during my last visit Underlying message – I am testing the value you place on my loyalty to your business 15
  16. 16. The customer’s needs when they complain Needs relating to the complaint To have their concern dealt with quickly, fairly and properly To be given what they have been denied and perhaps an apology To have action taken to rectify a problem or address a concern- a resultant process change Needs as individuals To be heard To be understood To be respected 16
  17. 17. When the customer’s need is met… You automatically Engage your Customer as your Advocate! Who is your advocate??? A person who publicly supports or recommends you Someone who speaks, or argues in your favor 17
  18. 18. SESSION 3 Steps for Handling Customer Complaints
  19. 19. How to Handle Customer Complaints How do you react to customer complaints about the way you do your work? Especially when you think you are doing your best??? People react to customer complaints in different ways… Some Ignore complaints Become defensive Become angry or annoyed Are concerned about the loss of trade or the damage to their professional reputation 19
  20. 20. How to Handle Customer Complaints For others, it is A hindrance They just wish the customer would go away! Or They do not believe some or all of what the customer is complaining about. These reactions are as a result of blame being attributed to us or our organization.
  21. 21. How to Handle Customer Complaints In making complaints, some customers portray the following characteristics Lack of gracious social skills to communicate properly Nervousness Harshness Very Emotional Lack understanding of you or your organization’s limitations Rudeness Unreasonableness We need to learn to expect such behaviour and remember however that a complaint is evidence that, in the customer’s view, we have not met their expectations. 21
  22. 22. How to Handle Customer Complaints Listen Remember not to take it Repeat personally Apologise Remain calm Acknowledge Focus on the problem Explain action and not person Thank Turn unhappy people into happy customers Follow up
  23. 23. How to Handle Customer Complaints Address customers by name All communication should be in the first person. Use “I am sorry” not “we” Don’t make excuses or blame others in your organization Give the customer your full attention and establish eye contact Paraphrase their complaint in your own words to determine whether you have correctly understood the situation.
  24. 24. How to Handle Customer Complaints If you don’t know the answer to their problem, don’t lie. Call back when you say you will, even if for some reason, you haven’t been able to obtain a satisfactory answer by then Make the customer part of the solution not part of the problem
  25. 25. How to handle customer complaints Don’t be defensive Be composed at all times Don’t take criticisms personally Offer an apology even if the disservice is not your fault Show empathy by using such phrases as: “I can understand how you feel”, “I appreciate what you’re saying.”
  26. 26. How to Handle Customer Complaints Tell them what you can do…not what you can’t do Find out what it will take to turn their dissatisfaction into satisfaction If they agree to that solution, act quickly before they change their mind Follow up And remember: You can never win an argument with a customer
  27. 27. Steps for handling complaints At the organization’s level, there is the need for a complaint handling system which will involve the following steps as a minimum: Acknowledge It is important that you acknowledge the receipt of all receipt of the complaints, verbal or written. Preferably allocate a complaint reference complaint number and provide the customer with a contact point for further correspondence. Accurately record Make sure that your recorded version of the complaint matches exactly complaint what the customer said. Also make sure that the complaint record is information and accessible by any branch of the organization that the customer may make it accessible contact. Attach The company should attempt to resolve complaints on first timeframes for contact, but if this is not possible, then a complaint should be finalized resolution of within a specific number of days eg. 30 days. complaint
  28. 28. Steps for handling complaints Customers must be informed As soon as you realizes that they are unable to resolve a about any delays complaint within the given timeframe, contact the in resolving a customer, and inform advising him/ her of the delay and set a complaint new timeline Make staff aware of complaint The complaint handling procedures should be known to all handling employees and be part of regular training procedures Inform Customers Of Complaint Posting your complaint handling procedures on your office Handling premises is a good way to inform customers. Also these Procedures procedures may be incorporated in the organisation’s brochure
  29. 29. Find out what your customers really think… HOW? THROUGH Surveys, focus groups, mystery shopping One complaint statistically represents 24 similar ones
  30. 30. SESSION 4 Strategies for Service Recovery
  31. 31. What is service recovery Service recovery is how you remedy a failed service encounter with a customer. In other words, pull a customer from hell to heaven in the shortest possible time. It involves: apologizing, solving the problem, compensating the customer with something of value
  32. 32. Service recovery 95% of customers who have a complaint that was handled efficiently and promptly will not only continue to do business but will become even more loyal (Wharton Business School) So how do you make amends or appease the customer? Through product replacements, good will gifts, free of charge services, etc…
  33. 33. Some important statistics Only 4% of dissatisfied customers complain. 96% leave without any communication to the business Of the 96% who leave, 91% will never return A typical dissatisfied customer will tell 8 to 10 people about the issues with your business 1 in 5 dissatisfied customers will tell 20 people about the issues with your business It takes 12 positive service incidents to make up for one negative incident 33
  34. 34. Some important statistics 7 out of 10 complaining customers will do business with again you if you resolve the complaint in their favour Of complaining customers, 95% will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint at the first contact On average, a satisfied complainer will tell 5 people about their problem and how it was solved It costs 6 times more to attract new customers than it does to retain current ones Customer loyalty is worth 10 times the price of a single purchase “How to win and Keep Customers” – Michael LeBoeuf 34
  35. 35. SESSION 5 Handling Difficult Customers
  36. 36. Handling Difficult Customers Who is a difficult customer? How do you handle such people?
  37. 37. Types of Difficult Customers Angry Sarcastic Nasty Argumentative Demanding Critical Non-stop Talker Indecisive
  38. 38. Why Are They Difficult? They are often expressing They are difficult for their a need but chose an own reasons – appropriate and impolite not because of you way to communicate this need
  39. 39. Common Reasons For Being Difficult tired or frustrated don’t understand confused or in bad mood overwhelmed in a hurry defending their ego other reasons….. unfamiliar with situation feel ignored under influence of drink or drugs
  40. 40. How Do I Deal With Difficult Customers? “this job would be very good if it weren’t for the difficult people I have to deal with everyday” Approach them professionally and not personally Taking things personally can damage your professional reputation Listen for the signals that you are taking things personally
  41. 41. How Do I Deal With Difficult Customers? Check you customer service attitude Attitude is the key to success Attitude is your mental position on facts - or more simply, the way you view things
  42. 42. How Do I Deal With Difficult Customers? Five points about your attitude affects attitude: everyone who comes in your attitude towards contact with you customers influences tone and body language your behaviour. You reflect your attitude cannot always your attitude is not fixed. camouflage how you feel The attitude you choose your attitude determines to display is up to YOU the level of job satisfaction
  43. 43. How Do I Deal With Difficult Customers? Remind yourself! Reinforce this by saying… This is my job and I’m “I like the job, not going to do it because it’s easy, not professionally because there are no If it were not for these difficult people, not customers I would not because there are no have a job frustrations but because Every time I solve a people are part of any job problem I will feel better and I can make things easier by taking things professionally
  44. 44. Summary Be positive Take things professionally and not personally Aim for customer satisfaction, not just service Solve problems without blaming yourself or others Remember attitudes are caught, not taught