Hello, my name is Robin and I own a medium sized business which is based in a suburb of Perth, Australia. Many business owners do not understand the importance of commercial law on their operations. I know that I certainly didn't when I set out. At first, this wasn't an issue but as my business grew, I realised that if I didn't teach myself about the legal rules in place and seek expert help, I would find myself in serious trouble. I got in touch with a great law firm who helped me to understand exactly what I needed to know. I decided to start this blog to help other business owners.
Running your own retail store business gives you the freedom to be flexible with your timings and income, which is why a lot of people prefer to get out of the professional rat race. But when you're dealing directly with customers, there's always a chance that certain grievances are raised. Addressing these grievances in a timely manner is key to protecting your business reputation. While you may need to hire a commercial lawyer to help your situation, follow these efforts to properly manage grievances from customers.
Address The Complaint Head On Through A Proper Handling Process
If you notice a complaint in an online forum or with a professional body against your store, make sure you address it head on through a proper handling process. For instance, you could set up a customer complaint channel within your store to ensure that someone in your staff is assigned to call and discuss the situation with the angry customer. Online reviews can be particularly damaging when it comes to people walking into your store in the future because many people read about the offerings and reputation of a business online before experiencing it. Make sure you have a written complaint handling process to ensure you're properly addressing the issue.
Listen To Your Customer's Grievances
Simply setting up a process is not worth it if your customers feel like their grievances haven't been heard. Many times, they just want a listening ear and will not pursue any legal action if they feel like you're making genuine efforts to address their problems. The grievances will aggravate if you ignore these complaints, and you may even end up being taken to court.
For example, if a customer has complained about the quality of clothes because a machine wash shrunk them, you must not scoff and blame the customer for not 'washing' it right. Take the time to understand all issues, and find a solution by involving the customer in your efforts. This strategy could win you more customers instead of losing them through the grievance.
Use The Power Of Mediation
If a customer insists on taking legal action against your store, you may need to get your lawyer to intervene via mediation. Mediation can help settle the matter without the need to go to court. Impartial intermediaries can be brought in to understand both sides of the story before arriving at a solution. This strategy should be used if all other efforts of reaching out to your customer have failed, and it is certainly better (and cheaper!) than being dragged to court.
Follow these efforts to manage grievances from customers against your retail store.