Episode 390: Turning Feedback Into Customer Loyalty and Business Growth in your Pet Business

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Are you tired of cringing every time a customer complaint rolls in? What if I told you that these frustrations could be the key to your next big breakthrough?

Welcome to this week's episode of Bella in Your Business, where we'll transform what seems like the worst part of business—customer complaints—into your greatest asset.

Dive in as we unlock the secrets to not only handling but embracing customer complaints to fuel innovation and growth. Building on our previous chats in Episodes #388 and #389, today’s focus shifts to using these uncomfortable moments to refine your approach and enhance customer satisfaction.

Discover strategic methods to analyze and systematize feedback, identifying patterns that might just be the lightbulb moments you’ve been missing. We’re talking less anxiety, more action, and a streamlined process that turns upset customers into valued partners in your business’s journey.

Ready to turn the tide on customer feedback? Listen now and learn how every complaint is a step toward refinement and operational excellence. This is your moment to flip the script and make those challenges the driving force behind your success—let's get started!

Topics & Key Points

  • Managing emotional reactions to complaints and leveraging them positively
  • Strategies for strengthening relationships after complaints
  • Identifying pain points and recurring issues from complaints
  • Addressing complaints with empathy to build loyalty
  • Creating a centralized complaint log, assigning roles, developing response procedures, and implementing feedback loops

Timestamps

  • [9:50] Why complaints matter and identifying trends from them
  • [11:00] Strategies for strengthening relationships after complaints
  • [16:52] Tips for setting up an effective complaint handling system including a centralized log, roles and responsibilities, response procedures, and feedback loops

Notable Quotes

“Every complaint is a door that opens to two distinct paths, one leading to a crisis and the other to an opportunity.”

“Addressing complaints isn’t just about resolving an issue. It’s about demonstrating to your clients that their satisfaction is your top priority.”

Resources

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Transcript

Welcome, welcome to another episode of Bella in Your Business. I’m really excited to be doing this series. It’s been actually really exciting, I love that I get to be creative. I feel like I’m coming back into this creative season of my life where I haven’t been for like two years. And so just things like this, like the podcast how I first started off three weeks, two weeks ago thinking I was going to talk about customer service, because that’s what we’re talking about in the mastermind, and how this has turned into a three-part series.

If you have not already, go back to Episode 389. It was no, I’m sorry, 388, Managing emotional reactions to customer complaints, and 389, which are words that when language skills to defuse customer complaints, we’re kind of taking you through the whole story. The whole stages, like the first stage was what actually, like happens inside of you when someone’s upset with you, right. And we actually really talked about all of that, those triggers and the traumas that we all have, we all have, and we all carry them around. And it’s how we deal with conflict, right?

Then we started talking about language that you can use and ways that you can acknowledge. And now today we’re going to talk about how you can take what could be perceived as a negative situation, and use it for the positive. So I’m really excited to get into that with you today. Like I said, I have tons of stuff to talk to you about. We’re going to talk about, like why the complaints matter and identifying the trends, how to leverage them for interviews, implement changes, how to build stronger relationships, and how to have a good complaint handling situation or system.

And this is going to help you so that you’re not looking at every negative situation or complaint situation like oh my gosh, what do I do? What do I do, right? Because if you already have a system to rely on for it, it’s going to help reduce your anxiety a lot.

But before we get into that, I want to let you guys know that I did something totally crazy. Last Friday, I took all of my coaching, and I dropped it 63%. All right. So right now for a very limited time. And at the recording of this podcast, I only have one left, I opened up nine spots. And it was nine because what I did is I offer these things called intensives, where you could work with me six sessions, 645-minute sessions, recorded on zoom with whatever you want. And you can schedule them whenever you want in six months. So it’s kind of like having me in your back pocket on call.

So, if there’s something that you’re trying to work through, whether it’s that new website, whether it’s scaling, whether it’s bringing on employees, whether it’s figuring out your internal operations, and an organization or org chart, you know, whether it’s just starting, there’s so many different things, that if you really want to have success with it within six months or less, I really highly suggest grabbing that last spot. It’s only 1499. Normally, it’s 3991. Yeah, so it’s a huge discount. And all you got to do is just go to the show notes, or go onto my, my website, shoot me an email, Bella at jump consulting dotnet or go to work with me on my website, and you can get it right then and there.

I cannot guarantee that by the time you’re listening to this, the slots are still open. But go ahead and check it out. And let’s get into the show. All right. So every complaint is a door that opens to two distinct paths, one leading to a crisis and the other to an opportunity. And the way that we handle these moments can transform, a simple service misstep to a profound lesson and stepping stone for growth. In an industry like ours, where passion meets professionalism, the way that we handle our clients’ grievances can set us on a path to exceptional improvement and deeper customer loyalty.

Because how many times can you think back to a time where you had a complaint to a service provider? Or a store that you were in? Right? And what did you do like the minute that you complained you’re automatically hoping that you can see some sort of a resolve that you’re happy with, right? And if they did resolve it, sometimes you actually end up bonding with them even more. I forget what the name of it is. But there’s this this Chinese or Japanese art—oh my gosh, I’m gonna totally forget it now and I’m so sorry.

But I’m thinking about this and I would have done the research on it. I actually own one—one of my friends gave me one. It’s this practice where a bowl is broken, but then they like glue it together with liquid gold in the cracks. And it’s actually even stronger than it was before. And so I want you to think of these relationships that you know are—you feel like—they’re broken, or you feel like oh my gosh, they’re so upset at me and, and we already talked about all the emotions two episodes ago.

But what I want to show you today is how you can actually make it stronger than ever. So let’s delve into how every complaint that you receive is not just a problem to be solved, but a golden opportunity to learn and strengthen your customer relationships. It’s that gold that we put in in the middle of it. So whether you just experienced your first customer complaint, or you’ve been handling feedback for years, I’m going to give you some strategies that will turn potentially negative interactions into game-changing moments for your business.

So let’s address the elephant in the room and understand the complaint. Have you ever received a complaint that just made your heart skip a beat, like we’ve all been there, and whether it’s the stress of the unknown ramifications? Or immediately being defensive, which we talked about two episodes ago. But the reality is the complaints are not crises—they’re signals. So I want you to think about that. let’s reframe it, there are signals that need attention, adjustment, or even a complete overhaul.

I always think about like, “Okay, what could I have done differently?” Right, I always think first to myself, even before it’s my staff or anybody else, right. And so if we shift our mindset from seeing complaints as a personal attack to viewing them as vital feedback, we set ourselves on a course, to continuous improvement.

So we’re going to think about the treasure trove of insight that complaints bring every piece of feedback, especially the negative time, it provides us with data points, that we can highlight areas we might not have seen. We can explore methods for cataloging that feedback, analyzing trends, and systematically implementing changes. It’s not just about fixing what went wrong, it’s about evolving our business based off of real tangible data, right? What better data do we have when oops, something went wrong, right.

And then addressing the complaints head-on can actually strengthen your customer relationships. And so we’re going to talk about proven strategies to extract valuable insight from every piece of feedback, techniques, techniques to turn those insights into actionable improvements, powerful communication skills to effectively address and resolve the complaints and methods to follow up and ensure that customers feel heard, valued, and loyal to your service.

I’m literally on a mission to break this down. So that you can feel like you have these stepping stones for greater success, whether it’s just for you, to create SOPs for your future office staff or for the staff that you might already have right now. So let’s get into the insights of our customer needs. Sometimes what customer complaints about can highlight areas we might have overlooked, right? And so shedding light on specific pain points.

Let’s talk about identifying these trends. If multiple complaints emerge around the same issue, it may be a sign that there’s something deeper—a systematic problem that needs addressing. This isn’t just a one-off incident, but a pattern that highlights reoccurring issues within our operations. For example, if several clients mentioned difficulty in reaching customer support, then it signals we might need to revisit that and change around like our support structures.

If we can identify these trends early, it allows us to implement changes before they become significant problems and damage our reputation. “Oh, they just don’t show up on time,” or, “It’s just so hard to schedule with them,” or “I always have to wait for a call back and I just don’t have time for that. I just want to know that it’s handled.” Olivia Pope style, my favorite way. Scandal reference to any of you who know, inside personal note, that’s one of the people that my Olivia was named after.

Okay, but I digress. So understanding why a complaint matters, it can leverage meaningful learning and improvement for your company. Like how awesome is that? If you just change your mindset from “oh my gosh, I’m being personally attacked” to “awesome, now I know what I need to fix.” So like, I want you to take every complaint seriously. Sit with your team or yourself and dissect what went wrong and why. Don’t dismiss it as, “Oh, that person’s just crazy,” right? Consider it an opportunity to look at your process, analyze the root cause of what happened, why it happened, and how we can prevent it from happening again, then implement those changes once you’ve identified the issue, change the process or the system. And this will show a commitment to not only quality but continual improvement.

And for instance, if your analysis reveals that poor communication caused the complaint, implement a new communication protocol, right. It’s about making tangible changes, based on the complaints, you not only resolve the issue, but you improve your service overall. And then communicate those improvements. Let your customers know how their feedback has helped enhance your services, “Thank you so much for letting us know XYZ happened. As a result, we have taken it into serious consideration. We’ve thought about it, we’ve seen where we went wrong. And now we’re making this change to solve it.”

For example, even an email like here, you can literally take this verbatim, “Thank you for your valuable feedback, we have XYZ” that’s it’s as simple as this is, this not only shows that you listen to your clients, but also demonstrates a commitment to providing the best customer service possible, it makes them feel like they’re part of the solution. And so making someone feel like they’re part of the solution goes a very long way.

And I want you to think back to times when you’ve had your own negative customer experiences, and what that looked like. Okay, I’m getting really excited, and my voice gets really loud, and I’m looking at my levels right now. And my podcast, producers always like, “You blew out your mic,” and I just, I get so excited you guys.

Alright, so let’s move on to the second powerful outcome of managing complaints effectively, and that’s building a stronger relationship. So when you handle customer complaints with caring professionalism, customers notice and they feel valued and understood, and it can significantly boost their loyalty to your brand. Addressing complaints isn’t just about resolving an issue. It’s about demonstrating to your clients that their satisfaction is your top priority. So here’s a detailed approach to strengthening that relationship.

We kind of talked about how to address it, but let’s talk about how to actually strengthen it. Alright, so you want to immediately acknowledge it. So when the complaint comes in, respond promptly. This promptness demonstrates that you that you take your clients’ concerns seriously. For example, if a client emails you a complaint, acknowledge it, acknowledge that you got the email, like as soon as you can, a simple “we’ve we’ve received your message and we’re looking into it right away,” can send a positive tone I, I see so many people on both the receiving end of this, and also just in general. “Oh, well, I didn’t respond because I didn’t have anything to say yet.” All that’s doing is making that person feel more and more anxiety. So you have to acknowledge it.

We’ve received your message and are looking into it right away. It immediately acknowledges and reassures the client that their issue is important and being attended to. The next thing you want to do is an empathetic engagement. Use empathetic language show that you understand the inconvenience caused and are genuinely concerned. It is essential to validate the client’s feelings phrases like “I understand how this could be frustrating” or “I’m sorry for the inconvenience This has caused” conveys empathy and concern empathy bridges the gap between the client’s dissatisfaction and your willingness willingness to make things right. The other thing is follow through and number three is follow through so first immediate acknowledgement second, empathetic engagement three follow through.

Once a resolution is agreed upon, follow through diligently ensure the solution is implemented effectively. This means doing exactly what you promised and perhaps even going above and beyond to rectify the situation. For example, if you offered a refund or replacement make sure it happens without delay. Following through not only resolves the issue but also rebuilds trust showing the client that you are reliable and committed to their satisfaction now going back to episode or not episode but like the second episode in this series, so last episode, don’t always assume that they just want a refund. Like don’t assume that you’re always just throwing money at the at the problem right you have to hear them out and you have to find out what would make this like better in their in their eyes.

Now handling complaints effectively and with empathy can transform that negative experience into a portunities for building stronger, more loyal customers, by acknowledging issues promptly engaging empathetically following through on promises, your and following up to ensure satisfaction, you can potentially turn a damaging situation into a demonstration of your commitment to excellence. So when you tout, and everyone says this all the time, we go above and beyond, we love them, like they’re our own, we were gonna go, you know, we treat our customers the best possible. This is what that means. This is what that mean, like, you got to do this, you got to show this, your actions have to show this.

Alright, so we need to also give you some tips for setting up a simple but effective complaint handling system. And I really am talking to those people who are literally solo entrepreneurs, you’re running your business by yourself, having a system to rely on is going to help you not go into a tailspin and a spiral, when this stuff happens, you’re going to have a protocol that you can follow. Not only that, but when you have staff or if you have staff now, it’s going to give them a guidance to go by. Now, let me also stress that this is just a template. And a template is not concrete, it is something for you to build off of. And that is really important to note if you are just simply reciting back a script, or following through the motions, the client is going to know. So you have to like personalize it. But the first step is going to be to create a centralized complaint log, I love Google Forms, you can literally just put date and time clients’ name, nature of the complaint steps taken. And the status of the complaint resolved pending, you know, doing that is going to help you with what I talked about earlier, when you start to see patterns, oh my gosh, we’re showing up late all the time, oh, my gosh, they don’t know how to cancel their appointment, oh, my gosh, you know, they really, they got tripped up on trying to book an appointment, you’re going to start to see where your customer experience is failing.

When you have a centralized complaint log, you’re also going to be able to share that information. So if you’re the visionary, the CEO, the president of your company, and you want to just check in on your office staff, if you have this shared document, it’s going to be really easy for you to see what’s going on. The other thing is, you’re gonna be able to assign dedicated roles and responsibility, you’re gonna be able to clearly define who’s responsible for holding handling complaints. If you have an office manager, that can be the first point of contact, and it ensures that like, someone takes ownership of it, right. And so it’s not just a, I don’t know, it’s your fault, or your thing to deal with, and nobody wants to touch it. Because they’re feeling really icky about the situation. If we look at this, like, who’s going to be Superman to come in and save the day and change this client’s feeling about our company, it’s going to be really, really easy. And then the third thing is a standardized response procedure. And so we’ve talked about this, we’ve talked about what you can say, but you want to develop what your standardized response procedure is. And I’ve given you tons of scripts in the past three episodes that you could go through. But like, I would definitely acknowledge it immediately. As soon as it comes in, hey, we got it, we’re working on it, right. And then you have your certain empathetic language that we talked about the last episode. And then, you know, documenting it in the centralized call log, and then creating some template responses, again, templates, that’s something to work off of it is not what you send out. And then also number four, I would implement a feedback loop. So let me like back up and get you that 30,000-foot view again.

So we want to create a complaint loud, that’s number one. Number two is we want to assign dedicated roles and responsibilities. Number three, is we want to have a standardized response procedure. Number four is we want to implement a feedback loop. So after resolving the complaint, you also want to kind of check back and make sure that they’re satisfied with the resolution. So let it cool off a little bit, let some time go by and circle back with them. And just be like, Hey, just wanted to check in on you wanted to make sure like, you know, the fix was to your satisfaction. I wanted to see if there was anything else I can do for you. Something like that, right? And so you want to have some sort of a feedback loop and make sure that they are that number one they feel heard. But number two, that they know that you care, right? Sometimes there might not be much to say but just the fact that you’re acknowledging it goes a long way.

Alright. So then I think that When you can figure out that customer complaints don’t have to be something negative, they don’t have to be something that you know if you can push past what we talked about Two episodes ago, your own triggers your own icky feeling of oh my gosh, someone’s someone’s upset with me, or I don’t know, I don’t like conflict. I don’t like negativity if we can rise above that, and we can systemize this often emotional process if we can then be a good leader and create systems so that we can tell ourselves or our future staff how we handle it. And then we can show up for our customers in a way that actually bridges the gap and helps like build the relationship from an icky situation, you know, pour that proverbial gold glue in the cracks, you guys could be untouchable.

So I hope this has given you something to think about, we definitely have not talked about much of this in the 400 episodes. Which, by the way, guys, we’re coming up on 400 episodes. Can I just like, talk to you about that for a minute. This is episode 390. And this episode is 10, away from 400. I started this in 2014. In my closet, it was the only place in my house that I had carpet. And it wasn’t echoey. It was on my laptop. I didn’t even have a microphone. And I just started. And I think in about 2016 I started coming out every Thursday. And we have been religious every Thursday, straight to you.

I first started out interviewing a lot of people. And then I went to you know, just you and me here talking. But I do this for you. I don’t do this, like I mean, this is a lot of work. It’s a lot of work. And so I’m asking for your help. I want to know what do you want to hear about? I want you to submit your questions, I want you to submit your topics because I have pretty much covered almost everything under the sun. If you were you’d have weeks that you could listen to me nonstop, which is a lot. Wow. But I love doing this. I love being there for you. And as I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I’m going to be starting blogging again, in a way that I’ve never blogged before. So excited. I’ve got a whole bunch that are kind of in draft mode, and they’re kind of ready to go. I’m just figuring out which ones I’m going to release first. So stay close about that and just let me know what I’m here for you. I do this for you. I don’t do this to hear it for me, right. I do this for you. So let me know how I can serve you and inspire you and motivate you and ultimately motivate you into action, right? Because motivation without jumping. It’s just motivation it doesn’t do anything so I want to see the action.

Anyways, this has been another episode of Bella in Your Business. I will see you again next episode. Feel free to email me anytime Bella at jump consulting dotnet let me know what you want to hear more about. And I’ll see you again next time. Remember when life gets down, always keep jumping by now.

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