The last thing a customer with a complaint wants to hear you say is that they are wrong. What they want to hear is that you understand them, appreciate them and agree with them on the importance of the value they have cited in their complaint.
Here are a few quick scripts to use when responding to customer complaints:
Customer Complaint: Rude Service
Your customer says: “Your staff was rude and totally unprofessional.”
You say: “You are right to expect courteous, respectful and professional staff.”
Customer Complaint: Too Many Rules
Your customer says: “Your return/rental policies are so rigid.”
You say: “I agree that we should be as flexible and user-friendly as possible. Your suggestions can really help.”
Customer Complaint: Overpriced
Your customer says: “This product isn’t anything like what I wanted. And your price is way too high!”
You say: “I am on your side in this situation. You have a right to be satisfied with whatever you purchase from us. You deserve good value for your money. Let’s review what you have purchased and see if there’s a better option for you.”
Customer Complaint: Too Slow
Your customer says: “I’ve been waiting forever. Why did it take you so long to get help?”
You say: “We understand that in today’s world, speed counts. You deserve fast, friendly service.”
Customer Complaint: Bad Website
Your customer says: “Your website is terrible. I couldn’t find the information I needed.”
You say: “You are right to want an informative, user-friendly website. What information couldn’t you find? Your suggestions on how to improve the site are a big help.”
Notice how your responses make the customer feel right. We don’t argue over the facts: rude staff, stiff policies or insufficient product features. But we do actively agree on the importance of what they value most.
The customer is not always right, but customers are always important, and we can make them feel much better by agreeing with them on the importance of the service they value.