Customer complaints are nowhere near as bad as an actual CX crisis, but it might come as a surprise to many to know that the two have quite a few things in common
Just like a CX crisis, the goal of addressing a customer complaint is not just to fix the issue, but to also restore confidence. If a customer does not have confidence in a business or product, then they are highly unlikely to do business with said company again. However, if their complaints can be resolved efficiently and in a timely manner, then the organization might be able to instill just enough confidence within the customer to convince them that the same issue won’t happen again.
Acknowledge the Issue
The first step is always to understand and accept that there is a problem that needs to resolved. The business will then have to reassure the customer that they are being heard and that the company will do what it can to fix the problem.
Typically, when an issue with a product or service occurs, customer service will be the first touchpoint between the company and the customer. While the problem might not be the fault of customer service staff, they should be well trained to handle and defuse the situation. They should apologize to the customer on behalf of the company and endeavor to ensure that resources will be dedicated towards fixing the problem and guaranteeing it does not happen again. The main idea is that the customer is acknowledged and apologized to. It doesn’t matter what order.
Fix the Problem
Resolve the issue, or discuss what the process is to resolve the issue. This must happen right away. The customer wants to know that the company is ready, willing and able to take care of whatever the complaint is.
Maintaining the Right Attitude
Those who are working on resolving a customer issue must have the a positive attitude about taking care of the problem as well as an attitude of accountability. This means that the employees involved must own the problem. The issue might not have been cause by them, but the company’s problem is their problem too. Yes, the issue may be handed off to someone else, but the way it is done should create confidence for the customer.
Act With Urgency
The final confidence-building step of this process is to act with a sense of urgency. There is no such thing as leaving a problem for later. The goal is to take care of the problem as quickly as possible.
While a crisis situation is far more dire than a simple customer complaint, the above methodology can be applied as well in order to resolve a crisis. The principles are the essentially the same. During times of crisis, a company needs to acknowledge the issue, apologize to customers, reassure them that the company will do everything they can to fix the issue, and urgently find a solution to the problem.