11 Things Small Business Owners Can Do To Recover From Customer Service Issues (Expert advice for small business)

By David Handler

Summary: Short hints for small business owners to help out when customers have complaints, or other issues. Eleven tips for retaining customers even when customer service is flawed.

1. Be Swift – When someone has an issue with your company, address it quickly. Promptness goes a long way in letting customers know you truly care about their business.

2. Go Deep – Don’t just give someone’s complaint surface treatment. Seek to find the root of the problem, and after correcting it, redirect your employees to keep it from occurring again.

3. Listen – Many times clients don’t want anything fixed; they just want to tell you what happened. Let them talk and express their feelings, and they’ll leave more content.

4. Seek First To Understand – This is Covey’s 5th Habit: “Diagnose before you prescribe.” Let your customer share her side of the story before asking what you can do to fix the situation.

5. Send A Note – In this age of e-mail and IM, few take the time to send hand-written notes. Investing two minutes and 39-cents after you resolve an issue will make a lasting impression.

6. Never Make Excuses – The last thing a client wants to hear is why it happened. He only cares about what you’re going to do. Keep this in mind, and choose your responses carefully.

7. Be Fair – Resolving complaints is a key part of owning your own small business. When you consider how hard it is to get new customers, it makes sense to seek equitable resolutions.

8. Think Long-Term – Remember, the objective is for clients to continue doing business with you. Use their complaints as an opportunity to “Wow!” them with your unexpected response.

9. Apologize – Sometimes all a customer wants is to hear you say “I’m sorry.” Start the conversation with “First, I apologize for anything we did,” and you’ll diffuse a lot of his anger.

10. Ask – After allowing customers to voice their displeasure, ask what they would like you to do. They may not want much, and for minimal reparations you can save the relationship.

11. Do It Yourself – Clients never want to be contacted by someone without power to resolve situations. Don’t dodge discomfort. Step up to the plate and handle complaints yourself.

The Coach, David Handler, is the founder of Success Handler, (http://www.successhandler.com), and specializes in helping small business leaders find clarity and take action. He understands the challenges of running a business, because he’s been there – as a small business owner, franchisee, franchisor, corporate leader and trainer. Much like sports coaches, his coaching will show you how to compete on a level playing field in your industry.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Handler

Author: Guest Contributor

Leave a Reply