Turning Problems into Profits

Robyn Greenspan

Updated · Jun 22, 2001

The manner in which your e-tail site addresses and resolves customer complaints could determine whether they come back or not. If the customer has a history of pleasant experiences at your e-commerce site, they might be willing to overlook little problems – as long as they were handled professionally and satisfactorily.

Here are four simple techniques to ensure that customer complaints are satisfied and not exacerbated:

  • Have a toll free customer support number. Many customers that call a toll free number to resolve a problem don't mind a reasonable wait. Customers that have to pay for the call become more infuriated the longer they are on hold.
  • Assign an identifying case number to each problem so customers don't have to repeat their tale of woe to each rep that answers the phone. Customer care reps should take a few moments to familiarize themselves with the problem once the case file is accessed and then make every effort to resolve the complaint.
  • Provide status reports. Customers shouldn't have to call back or wait for a credit card statement to learn the status of a complaint. If the customer care rep cannot provide resolution immediately, an e-mail or phone call should let the customer know how the issue was resolved.
  • Follow up with the customer after the problem has been rectified. Inquire as to whether the complaint was handled efficiently and to their satisfaction. The extra attention may determine whether the customer gives your e-business another chance. Offer some type of discount or incentive for their inconvenience.

Treating customers respectfully and resolving issues quickly instills confidence in shoppers. Not only will angry customers stay away forever, they'll tell their friends not to patronize your e-store too. The potential damage to your professional reputation could be irreparable.

Reprinted from ECommerce Guide.

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  • Robyn Greenspan
    Robyn Greenspan

    Robyn Greenspan, an independent researcher and speaker, is interested in innovation, market trends and information technology. She was a participant in the AI Summit and also took part in the IEEE International Conference on Edge Computing, International SOA Symposium series and the International Cloud Symposium series. She graduated from Temple University. She was previously the communications and research manager for the AMS, an internationally recognized professional association that advances knowledge in the IT and business management areas.

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