Part of being a professional business owner is to hold your team and yourself accountable. We do this by acknowledging customer complaints and trying to make right of a bad situation. Unfortunately this is something that is easier said then done. Where a lot of people get stuck is when they truly do not believe they’ve done wrong and or it actually is someone else’s fault. So how do we know the difference and how do we deal with each?
1. Acknowledge, apologize and ask for more information
Even if there is little chance that this issue is on you, it’s important to acknowledge the situation, apologize that this person is experiencing it and get more information. Ignoring the complaint can actually result in someone thinking there is an issue when there is not.
2. Take Action and let people know you are.
It is time to investigate the complaint. Talk to all involved parties, get the facts and try your best NOT to be bias. Maybe you have a lovely employee that makes mistakes but you let it slide because you like them as a human being. If they are inconveniencing customers a change needs to happen. The client needs to know that you are addressing the situation and you need to make sure you in fact do!
3. Take responsibility for your part and make things right
Maybe you hired a company to set up sound at an event and they were late. Or maybe one of your team members forgot to bring the proper equipment and one of your headlining artist’s set has been delayed. If you blame those people and don’t bother to fix the situation, you’ll quickly become a part of the problem. However if you take responsibility and try to fix the situation post haste you can gain back he confidence of your client.
STOP: Ask yourself, “How could I make this situation go more smoothly next time? What should I have done differently to ensure this hadn’t happen?” This is NOT the time to become a victim. This is the time to take control of the situation and do the best you can with what you got.
4. Follow up
Do not skip this step! It’s important that the complaint has not only been resolved but that you are able to tell the customer how you will be implementing a new system in the work place to avoid future issues.
Consider this. People are more likely to share a bad experience with their friends, then to actually share a positive review of a business. Taking steps like these can change those numbers. Not only that, but you are the type of business people will want to work with.
Dare say, accountability is sexy?