Even if you offer outstanding products and services, you will get an occasional customer complaint or refund request. Mistakes happen and, to paraphrase a famous quotation, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Getting a complaint now and then isn’t a measure of your business. How you respond to that complaint is.
Is the customer always right? Not necessarily. However, it may not be worthwhile to argue with the customer. Often, the best policy is just to politely refund the customer’s money.
What if the customer is truly wrong, and giving them a refund is not the right thing to do? First, listen to the customer. You may learn something that will help make your business better, but you’ll will certainly learn what is important to the customer.
If the customer is angry, give him a chance to vent and calm down. Then, ask what would make the situation work for him. It may be that he just wants a small concession, such as a free replacement part.
If you can’t do what the customer asks, make a counter offer. ‘We can’t give you a full refund because . . . but we can . . .’ Be willing to give a little.
Remember that this customer will tell others about his experience with your company, and you won’t have an opportunity to give your side to all of his friends. With online review sites, an angry customer can influence hundreds or thousands of others. If you can come up with a workable solution, you’ll leave him with a positive impression. In fact, a complaining customer can sometimes be turned into a raving fan by a company that responds in an effective and sincere way.
What if you have a customer who is a chronic complainer? There are people who can’t be satisfied, no matter what. The best way to handle them might be to give them the name and phone number of your least-favorite competitor! No, that would be bad karma. However, it is acceptable to simply give them a refund and not do business with them again.
No one likes to get complaints; however, they are a fact of life. Deal with them the right way and they will not harm your business and may even help.