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Education Resources

How to Listen Customer Complaints from MB0023 Business Communication of SMU MBA

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A career in any industry, be it at the front office, managing the other staff or dealing with customers, can be managed smoothly if one develops his/her listening skills, especially when facing customer complaints. Listening skills have to be mastered because the customers you face are not the same always. You may come across a customer, who is drunk, may get belligerent or even violent if offended. You may sometimes come across another category of customers who are not satisfied with the treatment that they have received. These also should be attended with patient hearing.

Handling customer complaints need not have to be a battle always. With the right tools and responses you can turn complaints to your advantage; to help you build your business. How do you deal with your customer complaints? The easiest way to find out is to pick up the phone and play the role of the complaining customer. If you are very much irritated with the service you get or if the person on the other side doesn’t listen to your complaints, would you return to the same place? In such cases, you need to create a standardized method for dealing with your complainers and turn them into loyal customers.

One of the great tools used in the connection is the technique of BLAST. The acronym stands for:

Believe: This is the cornerstone of handling a customer complaint. The customers may be lying and be incorrect about their situation. It is important to understand that your customers believe that your establishment was wronged them.

Listen: Stop and listen to your customer’s complaint. While listening, engage in active listening where you either nod or repeat some words to assure the customer that you are ‘really’ listening to the complaint.

Apologize: Always apologize even if you did nothing wrong. From your customers’ perspective, they have a legitimate complaint, and they expect an apology.

Satisfy: Satisfied customer not only returns to your organization for a second time, but also advertises about his satisfaction to many of his friends and thereby improves your business!

Thank: At the beginning, at the end, in the middle; it doesn’t matter thank the customer for calling and complaining.

The chapter has also been taken from Business Communication of MBA MB0023 of SMU. It is the sequel of listening activities and strategies for effective listening.


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