Turn Customer Complaints into More Sales

Customer complaints can cause you to lose future sales from
customers and from everybody else who hears about their bad
experience. Or you can turn customer complaints into more
sales from these same customers and the people they
influence. How you handle your customers’ complaints
determines which of these two results you get.

Here are 7 simple actions you can take to turn customer
complaints into more sales.

1. Plan for Complaints

You can never eliminate every customer complaint. Some
mistakes happen regardless of how carefully you try to
prevent them. Expect to get a few complaints periodically.
It’s part of operating a business.

Handle complaints with a positive attitude. Strive to
preserve your relationship with the complaining customer
instead of your immediate profit from them. Make your
customer happy now and they will reward you later with more

2. Make Resolving Complaints a Priority

Surprise your customer with a quick response to their
complaint. If you cannot solve the problem immediately, let
them know you consider it a priority. Then do whatever you
can to resolve the problem fast.

The longer a customer has to worry about getting their
problem solved the less likely they will accept a
satisfactory solution and remain your customer.

3. Conduct Yourself Professionally

Conduct yourself professionally even when a complaining
customer does not. Complaining customers sometimes act
hostile because they expect you to resist solving their
problem. You can calm their hostility by letting them know
you genuinely want to help them. Assure them you will do
everything possible to solve their problem.

4. Take Responsibility

Take responsibility for resolving your customer’s complaint
even if the problem was not your fault. Apologize for the
inconvenience. Briefly explain the probable cause of the
problem. Then tell your customer exactly what you will do to
correct it.

Don’t focus on blaming someone else for the problem. It
sounds like an excuse. And never stretch the truth in your
response to a complaint. Making excuses and explaining
something the customer suspects is inaccurate can destroy
your credibility.

5. Compensate Your Customer for the Inconvenience

Complaining customers hope they can get a satisfactory
solution to their problem. But they often expect to get
something less.

Surprise them by solving their problem …and by giving them
something extra to compensate them for their inconvenience.
This helps customers forget about the problem they had.
Instead, they will remember the special attention you gave

6. Follow Up to Confirm Satisfaction

After solving your customer’s problem, follow up to confirm
their satisfaction with the outcome. This reinforces your
relationship with the customer.

Tip: Once you confirm the customer is pleased with the way
you resolved their complaint, give them a special deal not
generally available to other customers or prospects. Offer
them a special discount on their next transaction. Or offer
to include a special bonus item with their next order. This
motivates them get back into the habit of buying from you.

7. Take Action to Prevent Similar Complaints

After resolving a customer complaint, try to identify
exactly what caused it. A complaint often reveals some
weaknesses in your business procedure. Many times this
weakness is minor and you can easily correct it to avoid
similar complaints in the future.

Customer complaints can cause you to lose future sales from
customers and from everybody else who listens to their sad
story. Don’t let that happen to you. Use these 7 simple
actions to turn your customers’ complaints into more sales.

Bob Leduc spent 20 years helping businesses like yours find
new customers and increase sales. He just released a New
Edition of his manual, How To Build Your Small Business Fast
With Simple Postcards …and launched *BizTips from Bob*, a
newsletter to help small businesses grow and prosper. You’ll
find his low-cost marketing methods at: http://BobLeduc.com or call: 702-658-1707 After 10 AM Pacific Time/Las Vegas, NV