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We will use this space to share with you the latest developments on what we do at Youstice. We will also invite various experts to speak their mind about a number of topics, such as online dispute resolution, as well as the latest trends in issue management, e-commerce and technology, among others.

7 Useful Tips On How To Handle Difficult Customers

It should come as no surprise that not dealing with complaints from customers may affect your company’s reputation – AND business. The research shows that as many as 66% of disgruntled customers will most probably not shop with you again if they bought a faulty product – or experienced bad service… Here are seven ways to avoid losing clients – and save your brand’s reputation.

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Source: Vanson Bourne for Youstice, April 2014. Research conducted on 3000 respondents from the UK, France and Germany

One: Show that you care

Listen to what the customers actually have to say to determine the problem and offer a quick resolution. It's important to stay professional and avoid getting emotional, but it's equally important to show human side and show that a customer is not just another number from the system.

Two: Throw away template answers

When answering the issue of a customer, you should always stick to company's guidelines; however, don't make the mistake of repeating the same, official answer. Show your client personalized approach and try to put yourself in your customer's shoes before you answer.

Three: Avoid lengthy discussions

Try to focus on facts and don't get yourself dragged into disputes over who's right – and what's right. Proving your point will not get you any extra customer love. The customers – even those most upset – expect being listened to, encouraged their issue will be taken care of – and offered a resolution.

Four: Offer fast and right solution

Unhappy customer will contact you up until you resolve their problem and reassure that help is coming. That's why it is important to offer quick - and right - assistance, and always stay in charge. At the same time, you need to be realistic and not overpromise- in most cases, you will not be able to offer every customer a free coupon or immediately return their money. As long as you stick to the facts, you will be fine – and gain customers' gratitude for responsible handling of their claims.

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Five: Don't let the issue escalate

Finding the solution may take some consultations and follow-up, but remember that in the world we live today, customers – especially those disgruntled ones- count on fast resolution – before they go on Facebook to voice their frustration. Don't ignore any complaint, deliver what you promised and don't let the issue to escalate, causing your company loss of reputation.

Six: Train your staff so they can do their job right

Your customer service staff is always out there, handling debates with unhappy customers and trying to put out fires. Make sure they have all the support THEY need to assist and support others. Share with them the company's values and guidelines so that they are never surprised by a question from a customer; collect feedback from clients and try to improve your products and services as much as possible; show your staff what is possible and what not when handling complaints; invest into brainstorming and training sessions, so that they can provide the top quality service. Don't be shy to include new market solutions that will save their time and effort.

Seven: Minimize reasons for complaints

Did you know that a typical business hears from only 4% of unhappy customers and has 96% buyers who don't claim, just leave?*Try not to give your customers too many reasons to complain. People are understanding, but they will go to the competition if you continuously offer service or product which does not meet their demands – or is not up to their standards. Include their constructive insight and show them you are ready to listen to their complaints – and resolve them fast and right. They will reward you by staying with you – instead of choosing a rival company.
*(Source: Survey „European Cross-Border Travel and Tourism", ANEC, 2014).

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