Following up on complaints.

I hate to sound redundant, but it’s going to happen again with this subject regarding complaints: following up. There hav been entire series at Service Untitled on following-up and I keep trying to tell people how important it is. It is – following up is one of the best ways to make your customer service go from acceptable to great.

Be sure to actually follow-up.
If you promise you’ll follow-up, deliver. If you say you’re going to call them back in a week, call them back in a week. Don’t lie or exaggerate – do it.

Follow the follow-up principles.
Go to http://www.serviceuntitled.com/index.php/category/follow-up/ and read the Five W’s series on following-up. It gives you a lot of information about how to do effective follow-ups.

Be nice, be considerate, compensate, and work on resolving the issue.

Now, you need to follow the complaints principles: be nice, be considerate, compensate, and work on resolving the issue. However, the issue should already be resolved, so share how you resolved it and what you’ve done to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If you haven’t already, offer to compensate (company credit or cash). If you have already compensated, make sure that the customer has been compensated as promised.

Ask for suggestions.
Ask for suggestions and encourage the customer to provide any input he or she has regarding the entire issue. Suggestions on how to prevent the issue from happening again, how to make the process better, etc. would help you and make the customer feel that his or her opinion is important.

Make sure it doesn’t happen again.
You actually have to make sure the issue doesn’t happen again. If it’s something you can’t prevent from happening again, you should definitely provide some good reasons. If you do anything, make sure the problem doesn’t occur again and everyone will be happy.

Find someone to deal with future issues.
With every follow-up, you should include ways to contact someone who can deal with any future issues. This should be a senior account representative, a member of the management, or someone else who can deal with future issues. Make sure the person is actually aware that this is “their” customer so that when the customer calls with a problem, the employee doesn’t say “Who are you again?”

Keep these in mind and you’ll do fine with following up on complaints. Tomorrow’s post will be about preventing complaints. That’s important and then we’ll be done with this series. Feel free to send some more topic suggestions.

P. S. I’ve realized that for series, I’m going to try and stick to the Five W’s format. It works out more often than not. Some series won’t, but I’m going to try and make it so a majority do.