While the majority of clients will be happy, sometimes you will be confronted with a complaint. Knowing how to handle negative client feedback is a vital part of running a business and often difficult to master. However, we have outlined five steps to dispel such complaints to minimise the impact to your clients and business.
1: Listen to clients’ complaints
To resolve the situation, you first need to listen to your clients. It may be easy to leap straight to a gesture or good will to try and diffuse the negativity, but this will only help in the short term compared to the actual resolution. Ask clients the exact nature of their complaint, summarise the feedback to confirm you were listening, and then you can accurately resolve the matter.
2: Apologise when necessary
Sometimes, all it takes is an apology for a complaint to evaporate. Try and lead with this apology where possible, which is a great format to summarise the matter too: ‘I appreciate your concerns that xxx did not provide adequate time for your session’. Balance apologies as best as possible as too many of them will have the opposite effect.
3: Check your phrasing
Phrasing is so very important when it comes to complaints. Whether you are speaking with the client in-person, over the phone or online (which can present its own challenges and resolutions), it’s crucial you explain focus on how you are going to resolve the situation. By focusing on what you can do rather than anything you can’t do, you put the client in a more positive frame of mind.
4: Resolve the matter
Once you have gauged the complaint, you can resolve it. Outline the steps you will take to the client, such as stating you will investigate with a named staff member or change a specific process to avoid the situation from happening in future. This is also an ideal time to provide a gesture of good will as an addition, if you feel it is suitable, such as a high value gift card or free service so they return.
5: Keep a record
Make sure you record any complaints on their respective client cards. This should outline the situation, the date and any resolution. Not only will you be able to refer to this in future, particularly under a GDPR-compliant system, but this will also prevent regular complainers who are just after compensation.
Both Salon by Premier Software® and Core by Premier Software® can record information on client cards, helping you refer to and follow up on any complaints. When combined with a complaint policy, your staff will be equipped to handle any situation. For more information, book a free webinar or presentation today.