Mike and Zac – Responding to complaints

We visited the site positivesharing.com after searching for “effective complaining” on Delicious. The page is a blog written by Alexander Kjerulf, an author of business related books, including Happy Hour is 9 to 5.

In this blog post, Kjerulf deals with effective methods of dealing with customer complaints. We feel he makes some very good points, including a good list of things that shouldn’t be done when responding to customer complaints. A few of these items that really caught our attention were that you shouldn’t really just try to solve the persons problem, or trying to cheer them up with some funny jokes or some cheesy gift certificates.

What Kjerulf suggests instead is rather simple: Simply offer them your understanding. Some who is complaining is probably looking for a little empathy. Give it to them.


8 Responses to Mike and Zac – Responding to complaints

  1. pdrvx4 says:

    It is important to give empathy to the customer if it is appropriate. However, you do not want to take the blame automatically. You can easily be fooled by someone that is just looking for someone who tries to get you to take their side.

  2. jjctfc says:

    I don’t think I agree with just offering your understanding. In some cases this may be true, but if a product doesn’t work they don’t want to just know you understand, they probably want the product replaced or a refund. Providing them with your understanding is a good start, but just a start. You have to provide results and closure for the person to be satisfied.

  3. I think these are good points for companies who have big and expensive clients. These clients dont want gift certificates they want reassurance that this will never happen again. Jokes and ignorant comments only make customers hate you even more.

  4. jeh6d9 says:

    It is true that I would rather have the company try and solve my problem rather than just trying to buy me off with a gift certificate. However, if they do both it is the best possible response, in my mind. It is like the company is saying, “Well we fixed your problem, sorry about that. And here is a little something for your troubles”.

  5. kristenr says:

    Empathy is grand but I’m not sure that I agree that offering a solution doesn’t help the person doing the complaining. If I have a complaint about a product I’m looking for some solution to the problem whether it’s a refund or a replacement. Empathy might help my mood but it’s not the goal of making a costumer complaint. The goals of costumer’s complaining is general to get a solution to thier problem.

  6. jrtgy9 says:

    It is a good point to say to offer the person your understanding. If genuine, if the employee really is empathetic to the problem, then this will be very effective. When a customer complains they really want to be heard and understood and helped. To be understanding is not so hard to do, when everyone is a customer themselves. Just understand how you would feel in the situation.

  7. megm says:

    I agree that the customer wants to feel a persons understanding. I liked how the website offered an example on empathy to get a person to stop complaining, the idea was really good, and whats crazy is that it acutally does work. I really liked the website.

  8. saraht says:

    I think you both made some really good points in your post. I would want to do business again with a company who actually tries to fix the problem and shows understanding. Giving me gift certificates or a coupon does not solve the problem, and I would most likely not do business with that company again.

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