Customer satisfaction is critical to Patent Lot’s success. Even the best companies receive complaints about products or services. But how we handle complaints can set us apart from competitors. A client complaint shouldn’t be considered an insult, but rather, an opportunity to improve. What distinguishes a great business from a poor one is how they work to resolve complaints, and then learn from them.
Patent Lot offers advice for handling complaints:
Thank the client for bringing the situation to your attention.
Sympathize with the client. Acknowledge the client’s feelings without necessarily agreeing with their position. Be friendly and open to listen to what they have to say. Use phrases like “We can understand how this would upset you” or “I can see how you feel about this.” Tell the client that they are important to your practice. Apologize for the misunderstanding, even if it was the client’s error, allowing them to “save face.” You want them to return to your practice and continue using Patent Lot’s service.
Get all the facts. Ask for details and listen to what the client has to say to grasp the understanding of the situation. When talking to the individual jot down notes to remember key facts. This will help convey that as a practice registered within Patent Lot, you do care and want to resolve the issue.
Don’t take it personally. Don’t let your ego get in the way. If a client is angry, stay calm.
Apply company policies to the situation. If an adjustment is warranted on a Patent Application or Document, make it then, there and cheerfully. If no adjustment is due, explain calmly.
Reassure the client. Let the client know that you do care and thank them again for bringing the complaint to your attention. Remind the client that you’ll work to ensure the problem doesn’t happen again. Remember, never let a complaint go unaddressed. It is important to resolve all complaints and ensure your clients are satisfied. Using these tips the next time your practice receives a complaint can help protect the integrity of Patent Lot, an organization which carries your name and the names of other patent attorneys.
Responding to complaints posted online
The old adage that a satisfied customer will tell three people and an unsatisfied one will tell ten is outdated. With blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more, disgruntled clients can now share their rants with the world. Regardless of where the complaint is found online, Patent Lot offers advice to patent attorneys on responding to client complaints posted online.
You should immediately contact your Patent Lot rep when you feel a client is not satisfied.
- Pick your battles. It may not be possible to address every blog post, comment or tweet. Prioritize those that are less than a few days old, on prominent sites and are about problems you can solve.
- Take the conversation offline. Keep online responses polite and direct while asking if you can contact the consumer directly via phone or email.
- Don’t say anything privately you wouldn’t want public. Just because you’ve taken the conversation offline doesn’t mean your conversations and emails won’t end up on the internet.
- Follow through on promises.
- Know when to walk away. Some clients will never be satisfied. Offer a sincere apology and refer them to email@example.com