Common complaints and solutions

There are a number of common complaints that customers make relating to products and services. Having procedures in place that find solutions to common complaints will help you resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Seek outcomes that will satisfy your customers, and make sure these are feasible and affordable for your business. Remember that the cost of a short-term concession is worth preserving a long-term relationship.

The following list suggests some solutions to a number of common complaints.

Faulty product

  • Investigate the fault with the manufacturer.
  • Offer a replacement item or replacement model.
  • Repair the product if it is under warranty.
  • Consider replacing the product even if it is no longer under warranty.
  • Train staff to explain warranty conditions at the time of sale and repair.

Incorrect descriptions of the product

  • Train staff about the products they are selling.
  • Ensure product literature is accurate.
  • Investigate the product with the manufacturer.
  • Make sure staff explain warranty conditions.

Poor client service

  • Investigate the areas of issue.
  • Train staff in customer service skills.
  • Rotate staff so they can increase their knowledge of other areas.
  • Encourage and support teamwork.

Slow delivery

  • Investigate lead times.
  • Re-prioritise delivery schedules.
  • Train staff to provide more accurate delivery data to clients.

Poor response to information request

  • Retrain staff in how to respond to client requests.
  • Set procedures on how to respond and response time frames.
  • Provide more take-home literature to customers.

Lack of communication

  • Train staff in communication skills.
  • Implement a documentation system (e.g. a hand-over book for shift changes).

Rude staff

Uninformed staff

Needs not accurately defined

Promises not carried out

  • Train staff in good customer service.
  • Document promises made to clients and the mechanisms in place to ensure you deliver.
  • Encourage teamwork and support.

Repeated complaints from the same client(s)

  • Examine the nature of their complaints.
  • Try to determine the reason for the frequency of complaints for this particular client.
  • Discuss the pattern with your customer and your staff.

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