Running a lingerie boutique is no easy feat. You have a million and one things on your plate, at the best of times.
Your business is your life; you love it and do all you can to make it succeed. So, when you receive a complaint from a customer, it can really knock your confidence. You may not expect it to happen. Don’t panic.
Here’s how you can deal with the situation like a pro and still come out of it with a smile on your face.
Stay cool, calm, and collected
Should the customer complaint come from out of the blue, it may shock and surprise you a little. Don’t let those feelings mess with your emotions. You can’t get rattled by every disgruntled customer you encounter or you will never be the best business owner you can be. The moment you receive the complaint – whether it’s in person or via email/phone – try to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. Remind yourself that this is not an everyday occurrence and one complaint doesn’t mean that your business is a bad one.
Listen to what the customer says
Have you really listened to what the customer has to say? It’s crucial that you approach this with an open mind. If the complaint happens by phone or face-to-face, take the time to note down what the problem was so that you don’t forget. If it happens via email, you will already have a record of it. It may help for future to be able to pinpoint problems like this one, and so it’s essential that you take everything on board right now. The more you remember, the better you will be able to improve your service in future.
Avoid jumping to conclusions
While the customer is telling you what’s wrong, you may find yourself jumping to conclusions in your mind. You may not believe what they are saying or think that they are bending the truth. Put those thoughts out of your mind right away. They won’t do you any favors in this situation. For the sake of argument, you have to take the customer’s word when they tell you what the problem is. If there’s even the slightest chance that you are suspicious of what they have to say, you won’t be able to help them. That won’t do at all, and so you need to avoid jumping to these conclusions.
Get as much information as possible
Now, it’s time to focus on the facts. What happened? What date did it happen? Which staff member dealt with the customer? Why is there a problem? The more questions you ask here, the better you will be able to understand the situation. Remember, you need to gain a super clear idea of the story. If staff members are involved in the complaint, be sure to get their point of view as well. That way, you should be able to get a fair and rounded view of what happened and how things have gone wrong here.
Try to see it from their perspective
Customers don’t complain for no reason. Take the time to try and understand the person’s perspective so that you can help them. The issue may be a small one; one you wouldn’t think to complain about, so why have they? Try to put yourself in their shoes and hear just what they are telling you. In doing so, you can open your eyes to why they are upset, angry, or just plain disappointed. Then, ask yourself, what would you expect a fair solution to be in this situation?
Offer a reasonable solution
When you’ve figured out what the issue is, it’s time to offer a solution to the problem. In many cases, that may be some money back or an exchange. Sometimes, when a customer feels that they have been treated unfairly, it may help to give them a discount for future use or something for free. You will need to use your own discretion here in order to decide what is actually fair. That part is up to you!
Be sure to get the customer’s information so that you can follow up with them at a later date. While this may seem a little excessive, it’s little touches like this one that could make all the difference to how a customer feels. Drop them a line or an email to ask how they found the experience. This means that they will be more likely to return to the store again. Plus, not only will you get some invaluable customer feedback from this task, but you can also find out if they felt that you did the right thing and dealt with their problem well enough. Bonus.
No business owner likes to receive complaints about the service or products they have to offer. However, if you handle this situation well and play your cards right, you could turn the complaint into an opportunity to make better relations with your customer. Follow the advice just here and you should find that the customer walks away happier than ever and, importantly, brand-loyal! Good luck.