Newtown Square, PA Small Business Accountant on How To Deal With Customer Complaints — Even The Crazy Ones

No, we don’t often get a ton of client complaints around the ol’ Newtown Square, PA small business tax firm.

But that’s not to say that we’re immune. Yes, we’ve had to learn about how to handle things when client expectations aren’t met here at Team Venuti, whether it’s our fault or not.

And yes, we aren’t perfect.

But — what we’ve discovered is that we can leave upset Newtown Square, PA accounting clients even happier with us than even some of our most “reliable” and happy clients.

Here’s what we do — it usually even works on the “bad apples”.

Newtown Square, PA Small Business Accountant on How To Deal With Customer Complaints — Even The Crazy Ones
Sometimes there are just some bad apples in the lot.

And they’re occasionally fairly vocal, right?

Well, you can make some major mistakes with it, if you aren’t trained in handling complaints — because no matter how well you do what you do, you will get complaints.

Here are my suggestions for training your Newtown Square, PA small business staff to take care of upset customers…

It can be summarized by the “HEAR” acronym…

1) Hear the customer and don’t interrupt.
You don’t interrupt for two reasons:
A. It’s rude to interrupt
B. When people are upset they practice what they are going to say. And they practice it from the beginning. If you interrupt, they are going to start all over again and go off script.

So… don’t interrupt. Obviously, if the client is getting loud and unruly you may need to quietly interrupt. But, in almost all cases, don’t.

2) Mirror back (Empathize) with something like:
“I can understand why you’re upset.  I would be upset too.” or, “I’m really sorry that happened to you.”

3) Ask: “What can I do to make this right?”
It doesn’t  get much easier than that. Often, you won’t even have to ask the question because it’s pretty obvious what needs to be done. What’s most important in this step is that the attitude is right — empathy is everything!

4) Resolve – Unless the request is absolutely ridiculous, DO IT! What’s so great about this approach (and this has been studied, proven and established with myriad scholarly studies): Often you leave the customer even HAPPIER with you than before the problem occurred!

Yes, that’s actually a likely scenario, because they will appreciate how you bent over backwards to make them happy again.

I would ask that you forward this article to a business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance–or simply send them our way. While these particular articles relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax planning and accounting for small business owners. And though we’re reaching our limit of new clients, we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Stephen Venuti

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Newtown Square, PA Small Business Accountant on How To Deal With Customer Complaints — Even The Crazy Ones