Episode 70: Customer Complaints: How to Deal with Them Successfully

Every business is going to get customer complaints. And now that reviews are so easy to leave online, those complaints are there for the entire world to see. It is more important than ever to address these complaints and try and resolve them. We will tell you how to turn a complaint into a positive experience for both you and the customer.

Roger: Welcome to Local SEO Today, I’m Roger Murphy.

John: And I’m John Vuong.

Roger: Today we want to talk to business owners who are watching our short video with respect to dealing with customers and in terms of dealing with customers, you’ve got, obviously when you’re providing John, the product or service, you want to make them happy — you’re asking for money, you want to solve whatever problem they were looking for sometimes…things happen, right?

John: Yeah. So again, there’s gonna be positive experiences people have with some of the services and products you offer but then there’s also the negative experiences.

Roger: Sure.

John: So we’re gonna talk about how to resolve upset customers and irate customers in unpleasant situations, exact right? So if you own a storefront for instance and I’ve seen, and you’ve probably dealt with a lot of customers throughout your years.

Roger: Yes.

John: What would you do if someone came to your store…ordered something, either a product or a service…man was very disgruntled and upset.

Roger: Yeah, well I’ll tell you a little, just a little anecdotal story. When I was a teenager, I worked at my family’s restaurant…and I was in charge of…I was chief cook, I was the chief, etc. and then…you know, I was in charge of everything. One evening the waitress came from the dining room area and said a customer’s unhappy, and I’m like 18 years old…I’m like, “What am I supposed to do at it?” But what you have- what you do is you get it and you take ownership, and I got out in front of the client, he had a nice dinner served…all he was upset John, was not enough french fries with his plate so I just said, “Sir, I can get you more of those.” He was so…like calm and happy but he was complaining to the waitress beforehand, and had caused such a…kerfuffle. I got up there, I got in front of him, showed him, was empathy, you know empathize with him, and sort of settled it because you do want to take care of the customer.

John: Yeah, so I think a big thing for a customer that is very…you know, unhappy or unpleasant…the big thing is they want to deal with someone more senior, someone that has actually decision making power.

Roger: Sure.

John: So if you’re the owner or someone that is in charge, you want to make sure that you listen, you’re calm, you listen…to their situation.

Roger: Sure.

John: And you basically get empathized, right? So understand that “I know what you’re going through, Sir.”

Roger: Yes.

John: I can…you know, feel it…I can, you know…live through it but what we can do is try to apologize as well so focus on making sure that the customer…understands the situation. Listen, empathize, apologize, and then try to resolve it the best way you can.

Roger: Exactly.

John: And the best way could be…offering it at a discount, something for free, making sure that they come back with a better experience. Whatever you do, do not let them leave disgruntled.

Roger: There’s two things: one, customers…if you do not- you as a business owner watching this video today, if you don’t take care of your customer, don’t satisfy them, and make sure they have a good experience, you’re competitor will so just remember that you can…you know, feel that they’re being reasonable that…you know, “I gave them good serve” but at the end of the day, you’ve got to come to some…arrangement where they feel that they’ve been heard, they’ve been taken care of just to your point. And the second thing is is the other reason you want to do that is…and you may have read this, and heard this over the years: one unhappy customer is gonna go tell ten people about their negative experience. You’ll you…you know, when someone has a great experience, I mean they may be what, tell one or two people secondly, “I have a great experience somewhere” but it’s the negative…experiences that really amplify there so make sure that you do everything you can to serve them well, take care of them, and really, just empathize and make sure that they leave satisfied.

John: So this is only when someone is in…person…

Roger: In person, sure.

John: …had a bad experience. What about digital?

Roger: Yeah.

John: What about online? Because you know, it’s the same thing because people do read…your reputation is going to get tarnished…

Roger: Sure.

John: …if there’s a…negative review on a third-party site, right? So whatever you do, best practice is focus on getting as many positive reviews because the negative ones will and may tarnish your business.

Roger: Sure.

John: Right? So try to…you know, make sure that you have best practices incorporated, which is focus on delivering great quality service like outstanding…you know, customer service or whatever it may be, and everyone leaves very satisfied, and happy.

Roger: Yeah.

John: Right?

Roger: We counsel our clients here at Local SEO Search with the online world. There’s Yelp, there’s…you know, rateMD, there’s the Google that…you know, the Google My Business page, so many places where people can leave reviews, we counsel them to say respond to every positive, and any negative, and always take the high road, right?

John: Exactly.

Roger: Yeah.

John: Always. Because people read reviews and sometimes people sort by negative reviews…

Roger: They do that.

John: …because they don’t believe that every customers…every company is perfect, right? So it’s good to have a good understanding as who your clients are, and what makes them trigger them…

Roger: Sure.

John: …to write a positive or negative review, right? Respond to everything…don’t just focus on your website getting reviews, focus on third-party sites because those are the sites that actually mattered. People are more likely to search on Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, BoomStars, rateMD, certain sites based on that niche, right? Versus your website because anyone can come up and create testimonials, and reviews, and they could be phony for all you know.

Roger: Yeah.

John: Right? So really best practice, right?

Roger: We also tell clients: when you’re responding to a review, and if you’re not sure if it’s real one or not, you can…you can say, “We can’t find your records as you being a client of ours, please contact me directly.” And that really shows everyone in the…you know, Internet’s world of searching for reviews, they see that you’re a serious business owner that wants to address any concerns that are out there, whether they’re real, they might be imaginary but always take the high road and say, “Contact us directly because we strive for excellent customer care.”

John: Exactly.

Roger: Yeah.

John: So best practice, in person or digital, just make sure you’re running a solid business.

Roger: Yes.

John: Do the best you can and there’s gonna be situations that people that you can never…you know.

Roger: Yes.

John: Ones that you will…it’ll be very difficult to please, right?

Roger: Yeah.

John: So you will have a mixture of positive and negative reviews, hopefully more positive than negative.

Roger: Sure.

John: But make sure you address every…every person.

Roger: Exactly. In the world we all know, if there’s a difficult customer out there, you’re gonna run into them, and frankly, to have one or two negative reviews, don’t lose sleep over it because the truth is, any business, if you’re in business, you’re not gonna have a hundred percent satisfaction. There’s just some people out there in the world that cannot be made happy by anybody but as long as you take the high road, as a business owner, and respond professionally, calmly, empathize…you know, you’ll keep your reputation…

John: Yeah.

Roger: …high and see that you’re a real trustworthy…you know, good business to do business with.

John: Perfect.

Roger: Yeah so thanks for it, John, for your information today, hope there’s a few…tidbits and tricks you can…use here with the idea of reviews online, so see you again.

John: Thank you.

Roger: Thanks, John.