People don't think you want to hear their complaints. They also think it will be too much trouble to complain. TARP says to provide an easy channel for submitting customer problems and to make customers aware of what they can do. Your best place to start is with your employees. Keep them on the lookout for problems and give them the authority to solve them. When customers are shuffled from one person to the next, dissatisfaction grows. Other opportunities include:
Providing comment cards.
Give them out with every transaction and display them in a highly visible place. Be sure they are postage paid and are addressed to the store manager or owner.
Conducting customer satisfaction surveys.
This does not have to be complex. Just have someone approach customers in the showroom and ask customers questions relating to their satisfaction with your business.
Be sure you have signs that ask for comments and offer help.
2. Be responsive
"Customers want a clear, believable explanation, and they want resolution in a timely fashion,"says Goodman. Timing is crucial. Apologize in writing. Saying, "I'm sorry you are dissatisfied with the service"is not an admission of fault. It doesn't cost you much, and it goes a long way in calming an irate customer. Or call the customer - it is more personal and faster than a letter. If the complaint takes longer than two days to resolve, keep the customer informed of its progress.
3. Keep records
Customer complaints and inquiries should be classified and logged when they're received. Include all pertinent information, including customer name and number.
4. Review records
Once a month, review the log and comment cards. Identify any problems that form a pattern. The log will help you uncover problems with a product or procedure which might not seem important based only on what you perceive. Share your findings with employees and encourage staff input.
5. Offer incentives
Let everyone know they are responsible for resolving and preventing customer problems. List it in their job descriptions and reinforce it regularly. Offer incentives to employees who resolve problems effectively. The incentives don't have to be expensive or even monetary; visible recognition is effective. Use pins or pictures on the wall. Take the employee out to lunch or give him or her an afternoon off.
6. Train your staff
From the first day on the job, emphasize to all employees that customer service comes first. Train them to both seek complaints and resolve problems. Empower them to create their own solutions.
A big part of keeping your customers happy is letting them vent when they are unhappy. Let them know you're interested and you care. They will return the courtesy in future sales.