“March Madness” might be a timely basketball term right now, but rolling from the first quarter of the year into spring and summer can be its own source of madness for many businesses. Often problems arise when customers think that they're not getting responses. No matter what kind of businesses you serve, being proactive is the best way to keep them satisfied and loyal in the long-term.
Quick Responses Quell Complaints
One topic many business experts highlight is the importance of clear communication. Most often when customers lodge complaints or even ask questions, reacting right away can best satisfy their most immediate need to be heard.
First off, be certain to listen to determine the actual issues at hand, whether they are about orders, repair or replacement of products, or any other concerns. Moreover, don’t be afraid to acknowledge the feelings, criticism or negative experiences of customers. Doing so will help both parties get straight to the core problems, but also make the companies that do business with you more confident about that decision in the first place.
Focus on Interests, Not on Being "Right"
In a famous business book called Getting to Yes, writer and business theorist William Ury talked about one of the most vital things you can do in professional communications. When dealing with customers or any other people you work with, focus always on your mutual interests. Disagreements or different points of view can arise from time to time. But in most cases, your common interests with customers start with maintaining a healthy working relationship and in serving each other's needs — not just being right.
When something goes awry, whether it's about pricing, delivery, or contact terms, it is okay to admit mistakes and move on. Make sure also that you're not simply fixing something, but also nurturing the relationships.
Keep it Positive
Once you have listened to customers’ grievances, ascertained their problems and taken action to solve them, realize that situations like these aren't necessarily negative. Almost every hitch can be a learning experience. Better yet, sharing the knowledge gained from every complaint or fix can help employees and you develop better practices for future business opportunities.
We strive for positive experiences with all our clients and that is why we established an extensive global infrastructure to ensure excellence for every large supplier to each individual entrepreneur we serve. Recently, we achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification for quality and ISO 27001:2013 for information security. That means our clients get peace of mind, which lets them focus on serving and building rapport with their customers!