09 Nov Customer Complaints: The Hardest Pill to Swallow
We’ve all had those days when we receive an email or call from a customer complaining about the service they have received. And sometimes, as Event Planners, we may unwittingly roll our eyes in disgust or at the gal this customer has to complain about our fabulousness. This is 100% the wrong approach. As a business owner first and an Event Planner second, one of your main goals is to provide superior customer service to all of your clients and attendees because without them there is no you. While customer complaints may be the hardest pill to swallow, today’s article is going to prepare you for this dose of reality.
Step #1: Listen
Sometimes when we get a complaint during an event, we may feel as though we don’t have time to address the issue immediately, we may pass the torch to someone else to handle. However, if you just take a moment to listen intently to the customer and their complaint, you may learn that the issue is something that needs to be dealt with expeditiously. This will not only make you look like the true professional that you are, but you prevent the problem from growing into something much worse.
Step #2: Be Open & Positive
Nothing beats a negative like a positive and keeping an open mind coupled with a positive attitude when you receive a customer complaint will garner you more good than bad. Your main goal when dealing with customer complaints is for the customer to leave feeling satisfied. If that customer walks away feeling neglected, then they may very well spread the word about your service and this could definitely have a negative impact on your reputation and business.
Step #3: Nip the Problem in the Bud NOW!
When a customer complaint arises, after implementing the first two steps, it is time to take action. Problems have a way of festering and growing when ignored, so it is in your best interest to handle the complaint head on. Never put off a complaint tomorrow that can be handled today.
Step #4: Finger-Pointing is a Big No-No
Playing the “Blame Game” or finger-pointing has never resolved anything and this includes a customer complaint. Take the complaint for what it is and dedicate yourself to handling it with professionalism and care. Your customers will appreciate your promptness and ability to tackle a complaint without blame. Better yet, apologize…apologies are the extra mile you can take that make you look like a true Event Planning superstar!
Step #5: Be Solution Oriented
Instead of focusing on the complaint itself, steer your attention to the resolution to the problem. Much time can be wasted when we try to figure out the who’s, why’s, and how’s. Getting customer complaints is not such a bad thing (unless you get a million of them). Within every complaint is a jewel of wisdom that you can use to make your Event Planning business that much better in the future.
How have you handled customer complaints in the past? Were you upset, indifferent, or did you turn this negative into a positive?
If you have experiences you would like to share, tips, questions, or comments please feel free to post them below or shoot me an email. As always WE would like to wish you the best in all that you do! This is Allyson Wynn signing off and may all your events be a “Wynning Experience”!