How to Turn Complainers into Raving Fans

How can you turn an angry customer into a supporter of your company?

How can you convert a negative situation into a positive opportunity?

And what could you possibly learn from the experience of dealing with a displeased customer?

When people complain about your product, service or organization, they are telling you that their needs haven’t been met. If you listen carefully to what they say, their complaints may alert you to a real or potential problem, suggest a better way of handling things, or help you improve your business.

When customers are upset, their feelings are real. If you remain calm, polite and positive, you will probably be able to resolve the issue, win back customers’ goodwill and possibly learn about something you could be doing better or should be doing differently.

Following are some tips to help you resolve and benefit from customer complaints:

  • Listen carefully, patiently and actively.
  • Acknowledge customers’ feelings and allow them to vent their anger.
  • Invite the person to offer a solution to the problem.
  • Don’t trash another department or blame someone else in the organization.
  • Don’t use the P (policy) word because this infuriates many people.
  • Thank the customer for bringing the problem to your attention.
  • Let them know what will happen as a result of the information they’ve given you.

Make sure customers have easy access to someone in the organization who can deal with their problems and that the people have the skills, knowledge and authority to handle the complaints.

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