7 Effective Ways to Handle a Customer Complaint

7 Effective Ways to Handle a Customer Complaint

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No matter how great your business or product is, there is always going to be dissatisfied customers here and there.

The Customer Is Always Right

The customer might be genuinely disappointed or could be displeased with a small issue. Any type of complaint should be handled carefully since every customer is important. If it is not handled carefully, you risk losing a profitable customer and they may leave a negative review on social media where it would influence others to avoid your company.

These are seven ways to effectively handle a customer complaint.

Listen

When a customer is angry with you, it is important to stay calm, not to rebuttal, and listen to what they have to say. Make sure not to admit that something is wrong when in fact it is not. The best to approach this is to recognize their feelings by saying statements such as, “I understand that you are very irritated about that”.

Be Objective

It is natural to feel defensive and offended when someone is attacking you, but try your best to be objective. Do not react emotionally, put your feelings aside and react in a way that is best for your business. The best outcome when it comes to a customer complaint is to wait till they have calmed down and come up with a solution that makes them happy and ensures that they would come back. If anything, use the complaint as feedback and implement it to your business to avoid the same complaint in the future.

Clarify

To understand what has happened, calmly ask the customer open-ended questions. Some examples of these questions are, “Can you explain what happened?” or “When did the problem first occur?”.

Empathise

Even if you think the customer is not right, you have to make them feel that they are validated by empathizing with them. Only when customers feel that they are listened to and understood, then they would open the gate to think about any of the solutions you throw at them.

Take A Break

If you feel that the complaint is stressing you out, you may need to take break from the situation by letting them know that you will look into the situation and get back to them. Breaks allow you to calm down and look at the situation more clearly. A good way to relieve yourself from the stress is to rant about the customer’s complaint to someone else during your break. It is important to remember that you are human and you have emotions too.

Remember its’s Never Too Late to Apologize

When a consumer has sincerely been let down by your product or business, apologize to them by genuinely and respectfully showing you regret what had happened and that you are sorry. This is the chance for you to restate the values of your company and recognizing what happened to them was not okay. An example of an apology would be, “I am truly sorry, you should not have gone through that. This is not the service that we aim to achieve or offer, but I would like to resolve this situation.”

Fix It ASAP

Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody has those days. But it all matters on how you fix the mistake. This would be your opportunity to show how dedicated you are to your customers and that you implement your company values. You can do this by addressing the problem, and letting them know that it will never happen again, or solving the problem and rewarding them something for free as an apology.

The 7 Step Guide to take your business to the next level

The 7 Step Guide to take your business to the next level

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More and more successful people are starting up their own businesses every year, and realizing the benefits of being your own boss. Most new entrepreneurs do most of the job themselves so that they are in control of what needs to be done. However, there will be one point in time that you will want to grow business for strategic and financial reasons.

Here is a guide that discusses seven ways to take your business to the next level.

Find Your Product

Success only comes with efficient marketing, passion, an effective team, and an amazing product or service. The business world is highly competitive, which means to be able to get noticed you would have to have an outstanding product that people would want buy again and again. One way you can figure out what the new product should be is to understand and consider what problems people have and how you can solve it. It helps to create a product that you are passionate about since it would give you a comprehension on what is truly needed.

Act Fast

When there is an opportunity in front of you, it is good to act quick and make the most of what you can. Certain entrepreneurs may be scared to accept new opportunities, but being afraid of it is blocking your growth to success.

Grow Your Team

Some people run businesses on their own, but the best way to successfully grow your business is to hire more people. Hiring employees specialized in design, finance, information technology, marketing, and sales would give you more insight and new ideas to make your business grow.

Be the Best Manager

To efficiently run your business, you have to be the best manager you can. This would require you to communicate with your team, set goals for the company, make wise decisions, make time for your workers, recognize achievements, and enjoy your job.

Network, Network, Network

Attend events to network with other people. Events such as business seminars and conferences is a great method to network with other successful businesses and learn strategies from them. You would also have the opportunity to meet possible customers and let others know about your business.

Business to Brand

Turning your business into a brand can spread a good reputation for your company. This can allow it to become highly recognized and result in having customers choose your business out of all the others. Branding requires good marketing and logos that stand out, in order to have your clients remember them. Promoting your brand through social media is also a great way to endorse your business.

Invest Sensibly

There may be times you may have to buy new infrastructure, stocks, or properties to grow your business. This would cost a lot of money in the short term, but it would lead to a high profitability in the future. Another way to invest is to rely on business investors or business crowdfunding. To attain an investment, it is wise to come up with a tactical business plan that has a strong vision of your outcome.



Digital and Analytics – Moving forward in Sales

Digital and Analytics – Moving forward in Sales

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Most business leaders are fully aware that in order to keep their sales teams up to date, they need to invest in sales automation and associated software that have become an indispensable part of sales and operations. 

Role of Digital and Analytics

The truth however is that mere automation is not enough. Only by harnessing the power of digital and analytics, it will be possible to identify, drive and even scale meaningful changes that will serve a company well. Companies who implement these changes in a disciplined way undeniably reap benefits, both in the short and long terms. 

Best Practices

It will pay off well, if business leaders bear in mind the following points 
  1. Mere automation is not going to significantly increase sales performance. 
  1. It is important to identify the intelligence that is required. While the market is awash with several cool intelligence and analytics products, not all of them will serve your sales reps. Involve the sales reps in the process, use data to capture the effect of all sales and then use the insights to drive revenue. 
  1. The sales leaders need to focus on capabilities that make a difference. The  parameters that will greatly influence the sales performance is the size of the pipeline and conversion rate, and ideas that are in line with overall transformation vision of the company. 
  1. Deploy the analytics tools in skill management and development. Identify the skills and strengths of your sales personnel. Simultaneously, gaps in skills will become evident.  Relevant and personalised training can be provided to your sales force. 
  2. Beat the drum! Make sure you demonstrate progress to the team and stake holders. Every small win, real-time insights and news about individual contribution will spread a positive feeling about the goal. Further, this kind of communication will make the team feel the progress they are making, motivating them to do more. 
Over all, digital and analytics tools can significantly enhance a sales capacity. However, it is important that there is a clear vision in sight and the tool should be used to achieve the same. The tool must be a significant part of a pragmatic, complete and integrated solution.
The human factor in a digital sales world

The human factor in a digital sales world

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The Human vs. Digital debate has been an ongoing one for years now.  Traditional sales folk vouch by face-to-face conversations, while e-commerce sales units think that everything needs to be made digital. While it would be just outright vacuous to state that digital is not important for sales, it would be equally mindless to dismiss the importance of the human touch in sales.

B2B Sales Scenario

In fact, B2B sales leaders employing effective digital achieve a several fold growth compared to their peers who do not employ the same level of digital in their operations. However, various surveys have highlighted a very interesting fact – Customers love the human touch backed by great digital interactions. It is however a very tricky balance, because the one thing that annoys customers is too much interaction. There are no tried and tested recipes to get the human-digital ratio right in the business. Businesses need to create the right human-digital proportion that works for their customers and operations. Research shows that B2B customers want both human and digital interactions on their buying journey, preferring one over the other at various stages.

Finding the right balance

When researching a new product or service the majority of customers who enjoy digital, still want human interaction. In the evaluation and consideration stages, customers mainly prefer digital tools that provide factual information, like a comparison tool and reviews. Again, post purchase, during renewal, cross-selling and upselling, digital tools remain much preferred. The trick is to identify where human interaction is most wanted and ensure it is provided – either as expertise available via a web chat or simply having a person pick up the phone when a potential customer rings.

Invest wisely

Companies also need to invest in digital where it is most valued and where digital can enable humans to do a better job of interacting with customers when the human touch is required. Digitally enabled tools can help enormously to reduce slow turnaround times, for example by connecting customers with experts via a web chat. By taking stock and analysing the sales performance of the recent past, it will be possible to identify areas of improvement. Sales leaders must then focus on whether they can implement the change digitally or by introducing some human interaction there. Either way, the optimal digital-human balance is a proven factor in boosting sales performance.
Ways to Conquer the Changing Sales Environment

Ways to Conquer the Changing Sales Environment

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Adapting to change is necessary for surviving in a business environment. The advent of technology has shifted the very dynamics of a typical sales process. Sales executives are forced to step up their sales strategies due to changing consumer behaviour.  

Here are few methods you can adapt to conquer the current sales environment. 

Right Sales Representative 

Hiring the right sales representative is a game changer. A well informed and able salesperson can dramatically change the buying process. But successful companies hire sales representatives who are not only willing to be process oriented but also open to the notion of continuous improvement. Also make sure that the sales representative acts as a facilitator between the company and the buyers.  

Retaining Employees 

Companies are forming policies that help in retaining the best talent. Retaining the best sales representatives by providing aid for their self-development and growth will benefit the firm in the long run. A survey conducted by Harvard in the year 2006 showed that firms that retained the best sales representatives had greater than average tenure of sales staff, higher percentage of reps meeting the quota, higher average deal size and shorter than average sale cycle.  

Following Sales process 

Every company has a standardized and defined sales procedure. But very few sales executive follow the prescribed procedure. Successful firms monitor and provide feedback on salesperson’s use of the standard process. These organizations amend the process when they identify even minor changes in market conditions. These companies also have higher performance rating and are a formidable competition.   

Understanding Buyers 

Though some companies formalize the selling process, very few try to understand the buying process. Keep a track on buyer’s process by understanding the opportunity, the budget allocation and by identifying key buying influences. A proper sales representative should be able to forecast the buyer’s actions and adapt this strategy accordingly.  

Marketing 

Nowadays consumers are well informed about the product even before the meeting with the salesperson. A customer’s first impression of the product is gathered from the internet and other online reviews.  Hence, a firm should focus on the marketing aspect of the product. Sales department needs to focus more on how the product reaches the consumer to increase the possibility of a sale.  

Technology 

The gadgets and gizmos available today are focused on making sales transaction both efficient and effective. Firms use data analysis to monitor the sales process and collect data which benefit in understanding the market change. Having data-mining tools built into the CRM application and categorizing and storing the collected data in an accessible manner will benefit all businesses.  

Transparency 

Salesmen who are transparent to the buyers from the beginning are often more successful at closing a deal. Such representatives have constantly explained what they wanted and tried to reach the top decision maker. These clear and on-going efforts to get to the decision maker can produce a positive pressure on the outcome of the deals. Being open to the buyers and explaining your reasons to them can have a progressive effect on the sales process. 

It’s important to remember that the process of selling is both an art and science. It can be highly automated and process oriented but has scope for improvement and development.



Significance of a Quality Management Plan

Significance of a Quality Management Plan

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A management plan is a blueprint which specifies the way an organization is run, both day-to-day and over the long term.  It is an integral part of an organization allowing one to formalize its structure and operations. Alongside, it ensures that everyone working are on the same page which helps to accomplish goals.  Meanwhile, the content of management plan varies depending on the organization, program, project and the circumstances.  

Some of the common categories that need to be addressed in a proposal are: 

Program Organisation

This includes an organization chart which shows reporting relationships and describes functions of the proposed program. 

Program Management

This describes the direction of the overall program which is managed by the program management group.

Project Management

This describes the techniques used to plan, schedule, track and direct project activities within the program.

Problem management / escalation

This provides a systematic method for identifying and handling problems in a reliable, repeatable and timely manner.

Personnel management

This contains a description of management of personnel-related affairs such as recruiting, retention, time keeping and benefits.

Financial management

This describes the fundamentals of financial systems, processes, and safeguards. 

Quality management

This provides a systematic QA/QC approach which is capable to ensure products and services consistently meet quality goals.

Risk management

This demonstrates a clear understanding of program risks, providing a description of plans and capabilities developed handle risk.

Schedule management

This provides an overview of the systems and processes that assures consistent maintenance of schedule.

Executive management

This describes methods for leadership to execute control which successfully meets challenges and delivers quality performance.

Interface between customer and contractor at all levels

The bidder utilizes this form to describe his interface at various levels including the executive, program, project, financial, contractual, and other levels.

Contract management

This describes the processes, procedures, and systems that ensures the delivery of services / products consistently in accordance with both the letter and spirit of the contract.

Subcontract management

This describes the processes, procedures, systems, and contractual terms which ensures the subcontractors are managed to support requirements and goals.

Emphasising on the steps taken to achieve success in previous projects will enhance relatability and trust of the client.  

Tip: The management plan must ensure it is relatable, reliable and client-situation is well studied!