Do not take too much time dealing with a customer complaint. As a business owner you should already know how much time you want devoted to customer service.
A bad rating, a customer complaint is just what a business owner, in their early stages needs to knock them down. It can feel like the world is ending, worst yet, it can make you want to fold up the tent and go get a day job.
A customer complaint is one thing that can ruin any great moment, even if you have had your best week. The first, is usually the worst of all, it can make you as a business owner, question the reason you opened your business in the first place. In all honesty, there is no doubt that customer complaints put a damper on things. Mostly it is because of bad service, a defective product, or just a customer who doesn’t like the product. Whatever the reason, it still feels pretty bad.
One of the main things you will want to do, as a business owner, is prepare yourself for it, as it is inevitable. A good philosophy to adopt is, “You cannot please very one, no matter how good your product or service.” One mistake many business owners make, is going into business thinking they have the product that no one is going to turn down. The danger in that thought process, the letdown is much bigger than it would be accepting the fact, that at some point, someone is going to complain. Be prepared for the first complaint, as it will come.
What you will want to do is move on quickly, answer the complaint with a follow up, and ask direct questions of the customer to get to the heart of the problem. What did they like? What could be done better? Pricing questions, as well as direct questions pertaining to the product. You will want to learn everything you can from that one customer about your product, and the perception it holds on the market. The more information the customer will provide, the better. This is where your many years of customer service is going to be critical, as an angry or difficult customer can be very hard to navigate. The more direct your line of questions, the more truth you will get from the customer. It may also be that, you will find there was nothing wrong with your product, or the customer just wanted a refund. What ever the case may be, it is in your best interest to ask as many questions as possible, especially as a new business owner.
Yet another pitfall, business owners spending too much time on customer complaints; do not do it. Why do I say this, especially after what I said earlier? Simple! There are other customers waiting for service, and you do not want to spend more than an appropriate amount of time with a customer, who is out to steal your time, energy, and resources. As a business owner, you should have some idea of the time frame you want to spend dealing with problems. A customer complaint should not, by any means, take up more than half an hour to deal with. For one thing, you want your customers knowing that if they have a problem, it will be dealt with, quickly, and efficiently. Second, you do not want a customer getting the feeling that your products are so inferior, that you have top spend hours dealing with it. Move through the process as fast as possible.
Finally, do not give up don’t ever give up. No matter how bad it may feel, business is a win / lose game. You win some, you lose some, but you keep going, because you will make out on the positive side. If you begin to doubt your abilities, it will show in your customer service environment, it will also show in your services. The main thing is to remain calm, even if you are flustered, nothing you do will take back the product or service being on the market. But quitting will mean that you have spent, hours of your time, countless dollars setting up, and a lot of raw material, among other things, just to walk away when you were in the middle of success. Stay the course and capture the day, it is the reason you decided to go into business, and the reason you went to work.