ekI've had nightmare week but as we know running your own business can't always be butterflies and chocolate cake.
This week, I've had 3 separate complaints. Before you think I must be awful at running my business this is not the norm at all. I can't remember before this when we last had a complaint. My Dad always says things come in 3's so at least I'm done for a while! (plus I managed to cut the same hand 3 times this week!).
The truth is complaints are going to happen every now and then, it's just part of running a business isn't it? Although we should always be doing our best and helping people with whatever product or service we provide, some people you just cannot help or occasionally, we fall short of what was expected of us.
On this weeks podcast episode I talk about this and the steps I take when assessing a complaint and what to do next next.
The first thing I ask is 'Who is at fault?'. If it's our fault, own right up to it, sometimes that customer just wants an apology and it will all get better. Then, make sure you add this into your process or system so it dones't happen to other customers. If you need to tell them directions to a venue can this be put into their booking email? Or if a product must be washed before use or the colour comes out, make sure this is communicated really well when they buy it.
If it is the customers fault, yes there is that saying 'the customer is always right' but sometimes they aren't. What can you do to make the problem better and again make sure the issue dones't come up for anyone else. Let's take the above example again. If it's directions and they are in the booking email but right at the bottom or it's not clear where they are. Could you add an attachment with a map and directions or jiggle the email around so they are near the top or even better at the top and again at the bottom? Something like 'As a reminder or in case you have scrolled directly to the bottom of this email, here are your directions.... see you at 10am on Wednesday'? That's super helpful. With the second example, if you're in a shop selling jeans where the colour does come out, make sure your staff are telling customers who buy them that. Is there a tag on the product or could you put something in their bag with the purchase to remind them. Can you set it up on your system that an automated email goes out to the people who buy them to remind them?
Sometimes you can't make people happy but I think as business owners we should at least try in the first instance.