by Dr. R. Kay Green | Featured Contributor
It is a simple fact of life that you cannot please everyone. No matter how good you are at your job, at some point, you are going to find someone who is upset with how you handled things, for whatever reason. At some point, every entrepreneur will have to deal with a complaint.
If you are lucky, the complaint will be in the form of a phone call or email. But of course, this is not always the case, especially in today’s society. More and more often, people take to social media or online reviews to vent their frustration.
When people complain about your work, it is easy to feel defensive. Your work is important to you, and a complaint about that can often feel like an attack on you personally. But this sort of thinking will inevitably do more harm than good.
Here is the most important thing to keep in mind: this is not a matter of you vs. the customer. It is about you and the customer teaming up to face the common enemy: their problem.
Your end goal when dealing with any complaint, then, should be to find a solution. Ideally, this solution is easy to identify. If your customer is unhappy with how you have done things, suggest something else you can do next time. If they feel as though they have been mistreated, see how you can make it up to them.
But what do you do when someone is more than just upset — what do you do when they are outright angry with you?
It is hard to deal with people who are angry and getting aggressive. But it is very important to never, under any circumstances, escalate the situation. No matter how angry the client gets, you have to remain calm and professional. As an entrepreneur, you always have to maintain respect and understanding, even when the client is not giving it to you.
And as tempting as it is to tune people out when they start getting rude, this is often counterproductive. Taking an active listening approach is often more effective at getting to the root of the problem and solving it faster. Just make sure not to take their anger personally. At the end of the day, they are angry at the issue, not at you.
A simple “I am sorry you are having that problem” goes a long way. More often than not, the client will eventually vent all of their frustrations and be willing to work with you to find a solution.
Now, this advice goes for any kind of complaints. But when it comes to complaints on a public platform, like social media, certain extra warnings apply.
First, make your response genuine and personal. With social media, it is tempting to use something automated or a generic apology to deal with complaints. But this will often come across as insincere. Instead, respond to the customer complaint with kindness, humbleness, and a clear understanding of their problem.
It is also important to reassure the client. They have come to social media because they want to be heard. Assure them that you are hearing them, and that you are looking into their issue so that you can take steps to solve it.
Finally, take the conversation off of social media as soon as possible. Asking the client to contact you privately with more details, or directing them to a form, can help to avoid escalation.
It is important to take complaints seriously. Respond to them quickly, and be truly invested in the outcome. A strong response to a complaint can often leave a lasting positive impression, creating a more loyal base.
Dr. R. Kay Green – Marketing Expert from RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. from Atlanta, GA.
Dr. R. Kay Green is the CEO/President of RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. With over 190,000+ Twitter followers, 35,000+ Facebook Likes, and the Top 1% LinkedIn profile designation, Dr. Kay, a self-motivated trailblazer, is the Quintessential “New-Age” Professional Woman, and PhD Marketing Pro. She earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in Marketing, and has completed PhD coursework in Leadership and Organization Change. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and an Associate of Arts in Marketing Management.
She is affiliated with several prestigious universities and has instructed over 350 courses online. A popular speaker on Marketing and Business topics, Dr. Green is currently featured on Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Black News, The Network Journal, Business Review USA, Digital Journal, College View, Business New Hampshire Magazine, Bay State Banner, Reader’s Circle, North Dallas Gazette, Harlem News, Top News Today, One News Page, NE Informer, Women in Business PR News, Consumer News Today, Women PR News, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Daily Herald, The Miami Herald, and Book News Articles.