Happy holidays! Or are they? For customers who are lodging complaints with you, the holidays may be anything but happy. The same is probably true for your team members who are tasked with addressing those issues. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to manage complaints more effectively.
Prompt and Complete Problem Resolution Leads to Loyal Customers
As orders increase and things get chaotic around the holidays, you may be tempted to put off dealing with customer complaints. Or, you may feel compelled to take shortcuts in how you handle them so that you can attend to other tasks. Either way, the Christmas rush will pass, and when the new year arrives, you will likely find yourself wishing you had done a better job of addressing issues as you see once-loyal customers taking their business elsewhere, or even worse, voicing their anger and disappointment on social media.
Use the tips below to turn customer complaints into opportunities to impress.
- Staff up before the onslaught. If you’ve been in business more than a year, you know what to expect as the holidays approach. Bring on temporary staff (or permanent staff if you plan to grow next year) in advance of the rush. Better to have more complaint-resolution bandwidth than you need, than not to have enough.
- Take every complaint seriously. The quickest way to alienate a customer is to make them feel like their problem is not important. From major issues to minor scuffs, every complaint should be treated like a showstopper.
- Take action immediately. Even if completely resolving an issue will take time, you should make contact with the customer as soon as possible so they know you have received their complaint and understand their concerns.
- Expedite the shipping of replacement items. You should assume that every item about which you receive a complete is intended to be a Christmas gift, and you should take steps to ensure it arrives in time for the holiday.
- Get the necessary information for insurance claims. If an insurance claim will be filed, be sure to record all the details of the incident so you have what you need to get reimbursed.
- Follow up with a survey and coupon. Show your customers that you want to learn from the issue by asking them to complete a survey. And, apologize for the inconvenience by sending them a coupon. The small cost of that gesture can pay off many times over in future purchases.
How to Prevent Complaints in the First Place
It costs much less — both in time and money — to prevent problems than to deal with them after they occur. Theft and product damage during shipping are two of the most common issues, and both can be minimized by using packaging best practices.
“It costs much less — both in time and money — to prevent problems than to deal with them after they occur.” TWEET THIS
This includes padding products well and shipping them in strong, lightweight corrugated cartons sealed with water-activated tape (WAT). WAT creates a tamper-evident seal that deters theft. Plus, the physical bond produced between the tape and the carton surface holds tight in virtually all environmental conditions so packages don’t come open and spill their contents in transit.
Preparation is the Key to Success
The holiday season is upon us, with the busiest period for most online retailers still ahead. Are you ready? Are your packing stations set up in a way that is both efficient and safe? Do you have all the shipping materials you need, including water-activated tape and water activated tape dispensers? If you have questions about our products, please contact us to learn more.