Make Complainer Part of the Solution and Provide Feedback

Make Complainer Part of the Solution and Provide Feedback

Part 5 of an 8-part article about why occupants complain and how facility staff should respond

By Stormy Friday  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Understand Causes of Occupant Complaints and Turn Them Into a PositivePt. 2: Lack of Attentiveness, Displaced Frustration Can Fuel Occupant ComplaintsPt. 3: Categorizing the Types of Complainers Organizations EncounterPt. 4: Some Keys to Providing Good Facility Customer ServicePt. 5: This PagePt. 6: Complaints Offer Insight, but Shouldn’t Dictate Organization’s Strategic DirectionPt. 7: Apologies, Problem-Solving Can Help Assuage Occupant ComplaintsPt. 8: 3 Ways to Reduce Customer Complaints

Making the complainer part of the solution and providing feedback are additional keys to ensuring good facility customer service, and should be part of an overall complaint prevention and response strategy. Here’s a closer look at these two keys.

Engage customers in developing their own solutions. Seeking a solution that meets the customer’s needs requires the customer to be part of the decision making process. Keeping in mind that there may be a giant gap between what customers want and what they need to get their job accomplished, it is essential for facility organizations to create service solutions based on input from customers as well as their buy-in.

Starting the dialogue with the question "What would be an acceptable solution to you?" establishes a baseline for discussion. In reality, what customers need usually is less than what they articulate that they want, so it is critical to ask them exactly what they see as the solution to their problem. If their solution is unrealistic, then the job of facility staff is to convince them of what really makes sense. Facility organizations have documented the fact that customers who feel included in the solution process accept a far less "dramatic" resolution to a problem than they originally required when they lodged a complaint.

Overload customers with feedback on progress. It seems dubious, but irritated customers can be very forgiving if they are kept informed about what the facility organization is doing to resolve their problem. Keep in mind that customers only worry about their own issues. Customers don’t care if the facility organization has a million other things to do or is trying to resolve a dozen other customer issues. By keeping customers informed about every step of the facility organization’s action plan to resolve the complaint, a facility organization can mitigate the impact of customer impatience.

Although time is of the essence and all customers want to be reassured their issue is considered a priority, they usually stop pestering the facility organization if they have good feedback on a regular basis. A steady bombardment of timely, informative feedback is the best way to counter customer expectations for expedited action.

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  posted on 7/25/2015   Article Use Policy

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