Confident complaint handling skills for customer service teams – 7 key questions to ask

Confident complaint handling skills for customer service teams – 7 key questions to ask 

Confident complaint handling skills for customer service teams – 7 key questions to ask 

17th April 2024

Customer Service Excellence

How well equipped your customer service teams feel they are to handle any complaint and feedback that they receive will have a direct impact on how satisfied your customers are with your organisation’s complaint handling.  

We know from our experience working across multiple sectors that customer service teams continue to face high demands due to a range of factors including the economy, market forces and increasingly challenging interactions. Many people tell us that they consider themselves to be coping or surviving, doing their best, rather than managing well or thriving at work as they should.  

Handling feedback and complaints can contribute significantly to team members feeling under pressure. To help them excel in complaint handling, there are some specific questions you can consider to ensure that everyone is well equipped to handle anything that comes their way at work. 

The questions to ask

Consider a situation where a customer has a significant complaint that they need to raise with your company which will require a robust and focused response. 

  1. As that complaint is received either through customer service, on social media or in a face-to-face situation, what do you believe would be the immediate reaction or response from your people, what do you think you would see or hear? 
  1. Are they in a good place and strongly positioned to respond confidently and positively, or do you see stress or overwhelm as they encounter the feedback or complaint?  
  1. Do you see or hear them express an ability to take ownership and responsibility, and are they able to respond with confidence? Or do you witness hesitance and uncertainty in how to handle that complaint… what words do they use… are they asking the right questions…? 
  1. What do you hear them saying about customers who are giving feedback or complaining? Is it respectful and empathetic towards the customer and the situation, or do they view complaints as a nuisance, unjustified or even a threat? 
  1. Do people in your organisation have confidence and know when to escalate issues or ask for help if they are unsure of the best way forward? 
  1. When you review more complex or escalated complaints, do you see points along the timeline where intervention could have been taken to address the issue if those dealing with the situation had more empowerment, confidence or skill? 
  1. Do you see your people coming forward with ideas and solutions on how to fix challenges and problems, or do they seem powerless to do anything meaningful, or try to avoid the situation? 

Glad > Sure > Sorry is a simple and powerful tool that empowers and enhances your people’s ability to respond effectively in any complaint situation.

Understanding the current mindset of your people, including their thoughts and feelings about handling complaints as well as their skill level to do so, is important for identifying the development and tools they need to excel in their service.  

When we consider the self-talk of individual service-givers in the moment of receiving a complaint, it’s vital that each one feels supported and certain that the organisation will do what is necessary to fix the situation. They need to be confident in their ability to respond straightaway with the right words and prompt action to demonstrate to the customer that their feedback is being taken seriously.  

One tool from MGI’s Mindset, Language & Actions Toolkit will immediately empower your people with greater confidence and capability in responding to any complaint, criticism or feedback. We call it Glad > Sure > Sorry. It is a simple and powerful tool that when used authentically truly empowers and enhances a service provider’s ability to respond in any feedback situation. 

Click here for a copy of our 1-page summary of this go-to tool for complaints and emails. 

Being equipped with the right skills and resources will result in customer service teams that are empowered with confidence and capability, safe in the knowledge that they have what it takes to deliver a positive, solution-focused response every time. 

Book a chat with us to find out how our Mindset, Language & Actions Toolkit can equip your customer service teams with the tools they need to excel every time at handling feedback and complaints. 

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