Friday, 1 August 2014

RTA Business Complaints No-No’s: Five Ways You Shouldn’t Handle a Complaint

As part of the RTA Business complaints series, last week we gave you five tips for how to handle that pesky complaint and this week we thought we’d flip it on its head; here are five ways you really shouldn’t handle a complaint.

RTA Business: Complaints Need to Be Handled Carefully

Over our years of helping people find the best possible deal they can when they decide it’s time to sell their business, we’ve learned that reputation matters with potential buyers. They want to know that the business they’re buying will benefit them going forward. That is why we’ve previously pointed out that you have to deal with complaints.

However there are right ways and wrong ways to go about this. Do it right and the complainer will go away; it may even be a good PR opportunity for you if you play your cards right. Do it wrong, and not only do they get more ferocious, they get more attention, and you can be sure that a potential buyer will learn of just what has gone down.

The Top Five from RTA Business Consultants

We’ve seen so many companies mishandle complaints and do major damage to their reputations in the process. Here are the top five:

1)      Ignoring It: It’ll be so tempting to ignore it and hope they’ll go away. Don’t. Customers like to feel heard and the more you ignore them, the louder they’ll shout.

2)      Shouting at It: You may feel that you can shout a customer into submission. That’s like when a dictator thinks that if they oppress the people enough it’ll crush their spirit. They only come back stronger.

3)      Arguing It: Have you heard that expression ‘the customer is always right?’ The customer is king in business and whilst you can argue based on facts, avoid arguing because you’ll only look like you’ve got something to hide, and the complainer will smell blood and pounce, making the whole  thing worse.

4)      Delaying It: You may think that if you delay the customer they’ll forget about the complaint and move on. People have surprisingly long memories about this sort of thing, and the longer you put them off, the more determined they’ll be to spread the word about your company.

5)      Pandering to It: If they’ve got a case, of course you should refund them or deal with the problem. However, if they’re complaining for the sake of it, don’t pander. You do and we guarantee that other people will think they can get away with it.

Handling complaints is a delicate balancing act, and you need to remember that it needs to be dealt with effectively. Fail to do so, and that customer will only come back stronger, damaging your reputation and driving away potential buyers in droves.

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