Proper Complaint Management

Complaints are inevitable. In a certain light, though, it can be interpreted as quite a good thing that the public is paying enough attention to your company and its products to form an opinion they must share. As they say, “any press is good press.” Even the best organizations (especially the best organizations), have complaints. Dealing with complaints can be difficult to manage, however, when taking your team’s mental well-being into account, and ensuring that the proper information is gleaned from the interaction. There are a couple of key factors to efficient complaint management to keep in mind.

Firstly, it is imperative that your employees receive proper training on how to approach a complaint, no matter their department. Negative feedback can come from any customer, at any moment, and keeping the team ready for that is a preemptive step that will relieve stress before it even begins.

Secondly, ensure that you have a solid plan in place for incoming complaints, whether they are received in the traditional format (through customer service lines), or stumbled upon during other customer interactions. A disorganized pile of feedback isn’t feedback at all, as it becomes inaccessible to you and your agents, and prevents you from creating reliable, actionable data.

The next step is underrated in most customer service training formats, but it is absolutely necessary to give your agents the rundown on how to listen. A little empathy goes a long way in customer service. Teaching agents to take emotional care of their customers can change the way that your business works for the better, and can improve the quality of the feedback they are able to elicit from the customers. Someone who feels safe in speaking their mind is much more likely to give honest, useful responses than someone who is stressed out, frustrated, and distrustful.

Along this same vein, it is very important to teach employees to take emotional care of themselves during customer interactions. Keeping a level head in the face of a charged interaction is a delicate skill to learn. There is a particular balance of empathetic and aloof that you want your agents to be able to emit to their customers. With this in mind, it may be useful to assess your workers as well, and try to place the more intrinsically inclined ones into the customer service side of things rather than sales or marketing.

Managing complaints is a tricky business, but it can become easier with proper planning. The sort of organization and emotional intelligence that it requires to have a successful customer service department is within reach with a little bit of forethought!

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