Handling Customer Disputes and Learning From it

There are times, despite best intentions, where any tourism business has to handle a dispute with a customer. It may be something to do with things like the products or services provided, the pricing, or employee behaviour. Due to the world economy travellers seem to be particularly pedantic over price and value for money.

Regardless of the cause of dissatisfaction there are a few things you can learn from these situations to help avoid them again in the future:

  • Make sure communication to your customers is clear at all points of contact – don’t hide any details or extra charges
  • Ensure employee training is thorough and effective so they are delivering the expected information, standard of service delivery desired and are competent to do so. You can’t expect employees to know information you haven’t shared with them or trained them to understand all processes and procedures. Have you got an effective operations or procedures manual to refer to?
  • During delivery of the product or service continue to question the customer to ensure they are happy with how things are proceeding – don’t just assume all is well if they say nothing.
  • Once the dispute is raised, listen, then handle it effectively and positively – regardless of who is at fault try to resolve it equitably and don’t play the blame game, take responsibility for your business at all levels. It always works well to tell the customer involved you understand their concerns and how you plan to resolve it rather than asking them what they want which could be unrealistic.
  • Identify the point where things went wrong and put in place remedies to ensure it won’t happen again or at least lesson it’s likelihood
  • Some people are just difficult to deal with so don’t take it personally, be the bigger person – learn from it and move on!

No matter how experienced or developed your business is things can come unstuck from time to time, so don’t worry it happens to the best of us and chalk it up to a fact of life of being in business.

Have you got some good examples of customer disputes or complaints and how you dealt with it? Share it here with us :-)

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