Just Listen To Me. Fix It & Make Me Feel Special! Ignore At Your Peril!

Customer Retention

The last couple of months have been very frustrating. We are partners with MYOB and over the last 4 years, have paid them a significant amount of money. As partners, we were supposed to get support, help and have an account manager who keeps in touch with us. This never actually happened. However, as we had a number of clients using MYOB, we just put up and paid.

As the number of clients using MYOB reduced, we started asking MYOB to review their charges and started a complaint for not receiving the service they charged us for and were continuing to charge for. They never dealt with the complaint properly or even felt it was necessary to return our calls. On the last discussion I had with MYOB, we were basically told we could give one month’s notice and leave. So guess what, this week I wrote a letter to MYOB doing exactly that.

But that got me thinking.

How should a business deal with complaints?

As a business owner there will always be a time you have to deal with a complaint of some kind. How you deal with it could result in you salvaging the situation or a customer leaving you forever – sometimes on bad terms.

When you consider that an ex-customer will tell on average 6-10 people how bad you are, the effect on your brand could be significant. In my case, I am telling the world how bad my experience is. As Australia’s Number 1 Business Growth Strategist, the owner of a bookkeeping and accountancy practice, the chances of me recommending MYOB is probably quite low. I will tell many experience though.

Every business I know has always had a customer that no matter what you do everything just goes wrong. It has happened to me, too. In these cases, you just try your best so that even if they do leave, you leave on the best possible terms.

I undertake surveys often. The ones that say we are brilliant are great but the ones where the response is mixed or if a complaint comes through are the ones that catch my attention first.

I am always looking to improve so if I know what my customer frustrations are, I can address them and make changes to my business for the better. It also means I can fix the issue so the complaining customer actually becomes a satisfied customer.

So what is the best way to deal with a complaint?

1. Accept the complaint and apologise

If you want to keep the customer, always remember the customer is always right. A customer does not really give a damn about you or the issues you are having so avoid making excuses. If they have a point, accept that they are right and say ‘Sorry’. This sounds easy but your ego might get in the way. The most important thing to do is just listen. Don’t argue – it’s what they expect. Often times, customers just want to be heard.

Some customers are just hard to deal with and you might need to ask if you really want them as a customer. Even if you lose a customer, you still want to make a good last impression because your reputation is more important than the last sale.

2. Try to fix the problem – as quickly as you can

Customers just want you to fix their problem quickly. If you can do that, they quickly forget about the problem because they are expecting to have an argument. If you receive a complaint in writing, then it is vital that you respond quickly. Customers get most frustrated when they are ignored. Having set guarantees will also help you. I have a rule that we will always give a full money back guarantee – no questions asked.

3. Now Exceed What Your Customer Expects

Sometimes the above two is done. But the customer still feels a bit unhappy. You see, a complaint can be an opportunity. It is an opportunity to show off your customer service skills. Send a gift or a discount voucher or an opportunity to use your goods or services for free in the future.

I once had a long term client where things didn’t quite go to plan. We sent a bunch of flowers to his home and his wife convinced him to remain with us.

This is where the real skill in handling complaints lies. If you acknowledge, apologise and fix the problem, then you have only done what is expected. To get a future order from a customer who has complained, you need to do that little bit extra.

Hitesh Mohanlal

Director at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants

14 years ago I lost a family member aged 38. I realised then there were important things in life than business and money. This tragic event drives everything I do. I am the founder of WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants, MediSuccess and CrystalClear Bookkeeping. I authored Double Your Profits and Halve Your Working Hours for Medical Practitioners.' I am Australia's leading Strategist & Business Adviser with a passion to bring smiles to the faces of medical professionals. As a result of the work I have done & based on my approach I has been recognised on Fox, NBC, CBS and ABC. Most business owners work long hours & recent surveys show that work life balance, income and wealth creation is the major area of concern. My ethos is to work with business owners improving their accounting and taxes but particularly to improve profits/ personal income and wealth whilst cutting working hours in half so that they can enjoy an awesome lifestyle with plenty of time for family, fun and philanthropy. I specialise in the medical sector. I have worked with over 3,500 businesses in Australia, America, UK, Japan and Europe. I soon realised that over 78% of business owners: - Found understanding figures too hard. - Were never taught how to run a business. - Spent money on areas they did not need to. - Paid more tax than they needed to. So we design strategies to specifically deal with the above but also: - Move business owners from being a business operator to a business owner so the business can run on its own. - Create investments, assets and wealth which generate income so that if you are unable to work or retire income is still generated. I am so passionate about saving tax and improving profit that since March 2019 for every $100 we save/ make for clients I am committed to make 20 impact across the world. Currently over 1,000,000 impacts have been made.