Truly understanding the problem at hand is the only way you can resolve the issue. Unfortunately, for most of us, active listening is hard. And when customers are complaining via the internet, there are several elements in play. That’s why you need a solid Lakeland public relations strategy that will bring cohesion to your plan to deal with customer complaints.

Challenges for Active Listening

Active listening faces a lot of challenges—from background noise to distraction in the office to low internet signal. These are all elements of disastrous dealings with customers who have something to complain about your products and services.

However, as Lakeland public relations will prove to you, there are a number of things you can do to improve active listening (both your attitude to it and your environment). And even when you have to talk with the customers virtually, the rules for active listening apply to live chat as well.

Legitimize the Customers’ Feelings

It is so simple, really. You only have to say these phrases: “that must have been frustrating for you,” “I totally understand that it is frustrating,” or “I would feel the same if I were you.” These phrases tell your customers that you understand what they’re going through. It legitimizes their feelings and actions.

Use Encouragers

Sometimes, customers tend to draw on when speaking about the issues. They sometimes even get sidetracked. Instead of cutting them off, offer them minimal encouragers such as “I see,” “I understand,” “I see where you are coming from,” and “I hear you.” These are short phrases that show you are trying to understand where they are coming from and why they feel the need to complain. The last thing you want to do is to further annoy your customers.

Paraphrase to Clarify

What’s another way to show customers that you understand how they are feeling? By paraphrasing what they just said, Repeating and paraphrasing what they just said show that you are aware of the situation and that you are actively listening to their complaints. Use the same words they described the situation and apologize that they are feeling that way.

Apologize Before Trying to Fix Anything

It is easy to apologize right off the bat. But it’s one thing to receive the apology you want and one thing to be listened to. Your customers need someone to listen to their concerns first. The more you try to cut them off by apologizing, the worse the situation is going to be. Apologize only after you hear what they have to say.