Sooner or later every business may meet with difficulties that affect customer experience. If a problem is big enough, a company may receive loads of complaints. Let’s see how you can handle the situation.
There are a few situations that can cause mass complaints. E.g. your website is down or part of it does not work properly; if you provide SaaS solutions, your server can be down or there can be errors in your application (sometimes they happen after upgrades). Online stores may delay conformation letters or delivery, due to various reasons. All these situations have one thing in common: they cause many similar customer complaints.
When any of the above situations happen, the first thing you need to do is inform your frontline staff about it. They should be ready to address inquiring or even angry customers.
It is recommended to tell customers that the issue is already known and your staff is taking care of it. Inform customers about the estimated time when the issue is to be fixed, and what should be done afterwards. E.g. ask them to check again in 30 minutes, or wait for a confirmation email, or check for news on your Facebook page. Do not forget to apologize for the inconvenience.
When the issue may affect the most of your customers, the best thing you can do to avoid mass complaints is to announce it. You can post an announcement on your website and social media accounts. Explain what the issue is, how it can affect customers and when it is supposed to be fixed. Update the information if the resolution takes longer than expected. You can also send out a newsletter to inform customers before they may experience any issues. Also when everything is fixed, you can inform about it via you website, social media accounts and email, and than customers for their patience. These steps will help to reduce the number of complaints and save your reputation.
If you provide live chat assistance on your website, we recommend to create a special department named by the issue. For example, “Upgrade issues” or “Delivery status”. This will ensure customers that they are contacting the right person, who is able to help.
When everything goes wrong, just do not panic. Proper communication can save your customers and reputation. Of course, if it does not happen too often.