I was traveling recently and the airline, for reasons of its own, did not put my bag on my connecting plane. It took three days to get my bag. As you can imagine, this was very inconvenient and the way the airline handled it caused me a lot of frustration.
However, the important thing is not this or any individual incident; it’s the way each customer is dealt with… Which brings me to the point of today’s blog: How do you handle complaints?
Do you have procedures in place to deal with complaints? Most importantly, does everyone in the winery, who at any time deals with customers in person or by phone, know about these procedures and exactly what they have to do in each case?
They say success is in the details, so create detailed procedures on how to handle each type of complaints you encounter at your winery. What is the procedure when a customer complains that a wine s/he bought from you was corked, or for any other valid (or invalid) complaint?
If a customer is angry or frustrated, allow them some time to complain. Even if the problem is easily fixable, people still want you to listen to their story before you fix it.
Don’t take anything personally. When the customer says “you” s/he doesn’t mean you personally, they mean you as a representative of the company and the company in general.
An apology or recognition of the customer’s problem goes a long way, even if it’s not your fault. “I’m so sorry this happened, it must be very frustrating.”
Customers whose problems are resolved in a professional and helpful manner are more loyal than those who have never had a problem.