(Shared by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, Endeavor Center, OSU South Centers)
If you’re thinking about starting up a small business or you’ve just recently launched, fantastic customer service is undoubtedly on your radar.
You want your customers to come away from an experience with your company having seen you in the best possible light. In an optimal situation, the majority of them would not only become repeat customers but would also enthusiastically recommend your product or service to others.
This, however, is easier said than done. Handling customer complaints can be difficult, especially right when you start a new business. However hard it may be to take criticism, it’s extremely important to the growth of your small business. Even if a customer doesn’t necessarily give you easy-to-swallow feedback, learning to see past harsh words and hear valid complaints and suggestions for improvement is vital.
Don’t fret! Here’s what you need to know to handle customer complaints with ease.
How to look past negativity
Starting a new business can be scary. Investing your time, effort, and finances into a venture that might not be a sure thing can be intimidating.
However, customer complaints shouldn’t add any stress. Fear of failure is high on the list of reasons why people sometimes choose not to pursue great ideas. For some, criticism or complaints can be viewed as a failure—but they aren’t. They’re actually just the opposite; they are an opportunity to improve.
Maybe you’ve heard horror stories from other business owners about “their worst customer ever,” but you should know that these types of scenarios are rare, though memorable.
No matter what happens, remember, even when delivered unskillfully, your complaining customers are providing a treasure trove of information on how you improve your business and your customer service approach. If you view complaints this way, you’ll be able to better prepare yourself and your team for any challenging conversations.