When customers complain your staff have been rude

If you are experiencing too high levels of complaints from your customers about your staff not providing the appropriate levels of help, support and guidance during their interactions with customers this is a major cause for concern and will eventually have negative impacts on your business.

This is about back to basics; our customers are our bread and butter and a huge source for further development in sales not just for additional business they could place with you, but from a testimonial perspective, recommendations and introductions. If, however, they become unhappy with their own experience and in particular with the way in which they are spoken to, well this simply is not going to happen!

Remember the famous quotation from JC Penney:

“Courteous treatment will make your customer a walking advertisement!”

Our customers need to feel that they are valued and being taken seriously; so competent and efficient service in the handling of any complaints they may raise is essential.

A polite and friendly reception to them is the starting point with an approach that makes them feel at ease and that you welcome the opportunity to help them. Not many people chose to have to raise a complaint and after investigation it may well be that there has been a genuine error during their journey with you as a customer so don’t get into “Mitigation Mode” and be on the defensive trail too quickly.

There should be in place a complaints procedure within your business with an escalation process to support the complaint being addressed in a professional and efficient manner, check out what you have in pace in your business and contact us for help in this area if you feel you would benefit from further guidance and support.

As a great place to start we all need to ensure that we are supporting our staff with the correct levels of training so we suggest that you revisit the onboarding you have in place as staff members join your teams,  and what specific training you are providing to ensure staff are equipped to address the challenges customer complaints bring.

Good customer service training should include understanding our customers and what is important to them, visiting what they really want and expect from us in our interactions with them, and how good and bad customer experience makes us feel and the effects on future business. There are specific skills required in delivering great customer service and particularly in handling those difficult calls or meetings when a customer is unhappy with an aspect of our product or service, so it is essential that the training you are providing to your teams includes clearly defined application of these skills.

Communication skills is a huge topic,  but the ways in which we use our voice tones have great impacts, and when in a face to face situation body language is important too; so all this should form integral elements of the training support you provide to your staff to enable them to deal with complaints successfully.

Enabling staff to understand the reasons why people complain and what it can mean for them is important too, and this all forms part of creating customer service excellence training, listening to our customers and establishing the facts, reassuring them that they are important to us and that their problems will be addressed is crucial because it is likely to diffuse the situation early on. Next taking ownership of the situation and providing them with feedback and a follow-up process will ensure they feel better because they are going to receive a resolution.

Do not fall into the trap of passing the customer around through different points of contact because we all feel we should be listened to if we have reason to raise a complaint, and not being dismissed without acknowledgement of our concerns, or received with rude uninterested responses is not how any of us like to be received.

Ensuring this is provided as standard procedure will reduce those complaints and ensure that your customers are happier and much more likely to give feedback that is positive about your business. This also helps to create a much healthier environment for your staff to work within and will encourage them to take pride in performing their roles successfully.

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more advice contact our expert* Helen on LinkedIn.

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.