When Customer Service Goes Wrong

When customer service goes wrongI was recently surfing through Facebook and saw some beautiful clothing that a friend had shared, so I jumped onto the online seller’s page. There were some fabulous items – and also lots of very bad comments from very dissatisfied customers! One customer had gone so far as to obviously keep track of everything posted by the business and post about their own very bad experience warning other customers, which then sparked others to post about their bad experiences. There didn’t appear to be one comment from the business apologising to the unhappy customer, or trying to get the customer back onside.

We’re all humans and humans do sometimes make mistakes. And sometimes it’s not always our mistake – the garment may just get lost in the mail. However, a lot can be said for how a business handles complaints. I believe that because we’re human and prone to mistakes, the most important thing is how the complaint is handled, rather than the complaint itself.

So what do you do when a customer makes a complaint?

Do you ignore and hope to not hear from them again? That hasn’t worked well in this situation.

Do you delete the comment and hope that’s the end of it? In this situation I think it would have made matters worse still.

Do you consider it an opportunity for your business?

You can turn an unhappy customer into a happy one by acknowledging the problem and trying to resolve it. If garments have been lost in the mail, you may not be able to get them back. But you could send a replacement garment, and ensure that insurance is taken out on the shipping costs in the future. This is a small price to pay to keep a customer happy. Others reading the comments on social media will take notice that the business has done their best to rectify the situation, and the customer will likely feel comfortable to order again knowing that if there’s a problem it will be rectified.

In our social media world …

Before social media a customer would complain to the company via a telephone call or an email, and tell a few of their friends about their bad experience. In the age of social media, many more people are going to become aware of the problem so it’s really important that these issues are dealt with quickly and correctly so that it doesn’t hurt your business.

Consider what the problem was and how it can be avoided in the first place. If items are going missing at the delivery stage, do you need to find a new transport company, or put insurance in place to cover the cost of missing and replaced items? If complaints are coming through because items aren’t as shown in the pictures, do you need to look at the way items are photographed and descriptions are written?

Think of a complaint as an opportunity

Let’s face it – it’s wonderful to receive praise but that may not happen 100% of the time. A complaint can help you improve operational or customer service problems that may exist in your business. So next time somebody has a complaint about your product or service, don’t take it personally, take it as an opportunity to make some positive changes in your business!