How To Handle Complaints – Promptly And Tactfully
Let’s face it, no one likes to receive complaints, but in any business, such as running a restaurant, you are bound to receive them occasionally.
These occasional complaints could be about the quality of your food, temperature of dish, or something else. You might receive even complaints about your staff not serving your customers fast enough or giving them the wrong item. Although it is easy to get caught up in the complaint itself and feel frustrated, you really need to look at complaints on a positive side.
You see, complaints tell you how to improve your service plus it shows that your customers value you as a manager and believe that you genuinely care and would pay heed to their complaints. So, don’t become defensive. Instead, take proactive action and improve your service. In this article, we’ll tell you what to do when you receive a complaint.
1. First off, you must keep in mind is that an attitude of indifference is not going to help your business succeed. According to current research, customers cease conducing business with certain entities because: · 68% feel as if they are being treated in an indifferent manner. · 14% feel as if they are dissatisfied with the product. · 9% feel as if they can receive better service elsewhere.
Therefore, when you receive a complaint, remain calm and truly listen to your customer. Be patient and encourage them to openly and honestly discuss their feelings. Try to understand what the problem is and then profusely apologize to your customer and ask what you can do to rectify the situation.
2. Second, do not argue with the customer, even if you feel that they are wrong. Just solve the problem as soon as you can. In most of the cases, you will see that prompt action diffuses the problem and the customer feels appreciated. However, if you believe that the guest is wrong, give the impression that they’re right and move on. This single act will ensure loyal and continuing patronage to your restaurant.
3. Third, do everything within your power to turn things around. If you do not effectively handle complaints, you are inviting bad publicity. Most restaurants receive their clients from word of mouth publicity and therefore, it is to your advantage to do all that you can to rectify the situation. For instance, you might consider giving the customer a complimentary dish or a free meal, as a matter of good faith.
3. Fourth, after the customer is satisfied, thank him/her for bringing the problem to your attention and conclude that you truly appreciate their business.
4. Lastly, ensure that you have such a written policy for your employees to follow. Institute a reward system for employees who do a commendable job. This will encourage them and help alleviate complaints as they’ll be encouraged to provide excellent customer service.
In conclusion, managing complaints is a serious business.
To keep your regular customers from pursuing your competition, train your frontline customer service personnel in effectively handling complaints and do your best to keep your customers satisfied. After all, like Business guru Fred Reichheld cleverly explains, “It is not how satisfied you keep your customers, its how many satisfied customers you keep that makes the difference.”
So, keep those customers satisfied.