Part of the role of any telephone answering service can be to deal with complaints. A previous blog: Tips for Dealing with an Angry Person, talks about the behavior side of such situations. Of course, this is vital, especially when dealing with services, funeral call handling would be a prime example, where emotions are often running high.
However, many businesses – and some individuals within them – still have a negative (occasionally even antagonistic) attitude to complaints and the people who make them. Yet there are two important reasons why such moments can be of positive value…
1. A pro-actively positive aftermath
Many complainants have low expectations of a positive outcome. Yet, when such calls are handled positively, and with dignity and respect, leading to a satisfactory result, this can be of great value to the company.
Surveys have shown that people often feel more positive towards a company which has achieved the above, than if the actual problem had never even arisen!
This harks back to exceeding those low expectations. In a world of social media, it’s often the case that such a positive result can be quickly highlighted and then shared by those receiving it. Others latch on and also expose the positive message to increasing online numbers.
2. What the evidence reveals
People who complain about an aspect of a specific service are often the tip of an iceberg of unknown depth. Many others may fume, or resign themselves to the current situation, rather than make that effort. Again, social media can expand the bad news, without those ‘responsible’ ever having a chance to sort out such a situation.
Therefore, those who do make the effort to draw attention to a problem provide that organisation with the chance to put it right for all others, in the future, who would not. Again, social media can even be used to tell the positive story of an effective outcome, how the situation has changed, and then let others know how such a problem should not occur when they use your service.