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Patience is a Virtue- Dealing with repeat complaints!

by Lynne Campbell | Posted in Complaints management solutions | 8 October 2014

When it comes to complaints, persistent complaints can be the most difficult to deal with; whether it is dozens of complaints about one issue or repeated frustration from one particular customer. Now that it is easy and quick for customers to complain, you might even find the same complaint coming in through several different outlets. Here are our top tips for dealing with repeat complaints…

Our 5 Top Tips

· Stay calm

This may seem obvious, but is often forgotten. Stay calm and make sure you maintain a professional manner throughout the complaints handling process. Repeat complainants are most likely to be agitated and harder to reason with, but in coming back they have given you an opportunity to rebuild their trust. Remember common complaints are opportunities to identify needed improvements to your products or services.

· Be aware of your channel of communication

Are you communicating over the phone, by letter or email, through social media or face to face? When writing a response to a complaint, be sure to read over what you have written. Put yourself in a customer’s shoes, as if you were making the complaint. Have you got the tone right? Would you be happy to receive this?

· Match your body language and tone of voice.

Whether you are on the phone or sitting directly opposite the complainant, body language is important. Remember you may be saying the right things to the customer, but your body language or tone of voice may be saying the exact opposite. Always stand or sit up straight, you do not want to appear disinterested or tired, and posture will reflect in your tone of voice, even over the phone.

· Remember the three F’s.

It’s not what you’re thinking! Feel, Felt, Found, are three key words that your complaints handling team should remember. For example, “I know how you feel, others have felt the same, however they have found…” Of course this may not work for every scenario, but it’s a great building block for handling a persistent complaint or an agitated complainant. 

· Patience

Dealing with persistent complaints, can be time consuming, tiring and repetitive. As previously mentioned repeat complaints come in two forms, and both require patience, whether it is the same complaint from numerous different people or one complaint from one person at different times. No matter how sick you are of hearing this complaint, every new phone call or meeting should be treated with the up most importance. Remember how you would feel if you were experiencing the problem- everyone is human after all, no matter how many times they complain!

Repeat complaints are a nuisance, but can be a positive catalyst for change within your business. When handling multiple complaints, using a complaints management system can improve the efficiency of your processes. Complaints can be filtered in order of importance, calls or emails can be scheduled and reminders can be set. Cases can be linked so that you can build a picture across common complaints causes, nuisance or abusive callers can even be flagged. Analysis can also be undertaken in order to identify areas of persistent complaints and where improvement is needed.

Workpro Complaints is a complaints management system that can record, process and track your complaints, complete with in-depth reporting and analysis tools. We believe that complaints are an invaluable customer insight tool, an opportunity to do business better. Don’t just fix it, sort it!

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