As a business owner, you may not always be aware of problems and have to rely on customers to let you know when they're unhappy. The fact is, most customers that have a bad experience simply don’t return. If a customer does provide feedback, it means they’re a fan of a brand and want to be rescued. They’re giving the business owner a chance to make things right, which is why it's so important to respond and act quickly!
Try the B.L.A.S.T. Method, a Five Step Complaint Procedure that stands for:
Believe: Be in the mindset that you are going to believe what the customer will say before you pick up the phone. Eliminate the "I know the customer is lying" attitude.
Listen: Listen to the customer; let them speak and don't interrupt.
Apologize: Tell them you're sorry, plain and simple. Why the mistake occurred doesn’t matter; it already happened and it’s best to focus on moving forward rather than looking into the past.
Satisfy: Fix the problem by replacing the order and sending it out right away. Deliver it to them, even if they originally ordered a pick up. Never ask for the old order back; doing so implies that the customer is lying. If the customer doesn't want the order replaced, send them a certificate to have the entire order replaced at a later date. If they request a refund, do it.
Thank: Always thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention. Most customers don't give us an opportunity to fix a problem.
A few additional tips to remember when handling customer complaints:
- When a customer is providing you with feedback about an experience, be nice! A bad attitude from a team member may turn a nice customer into a former one.
- If the problem was due to a poor product, try to replace the items on the order before offering a refund. It is always better to handle the situation immediately.
- Impress the customer with generosity. Send the order out again, and do not ask them to return the previous one. Then follow up with an apology letter. Give them more than they expect.
- Control your emotions and refrain from using negative remarks. Remember, your team members will duplicate any attitude you may have, positive or negative.
As a reminder, business owners have the sole responsibility and authority for their labor relations and employment practices related to their business’ employees, including, among other things, employee selection, promotion, termination, hours works, rates of pay, other benefits, work assigned, discipline, adjustment of grievances and complaints, and working conditions. Your employees are under your control when at your pizza franchise or when fulfilling duties on your business’ behalf.