Billing issues are among the most serious customer complaints because you’re dealing with people's money. And with billing, it’s not always the mistake that gets you in trouble—it's how you handle it. Learn three surefire ways to handle billing complaints better.
- Billing issues are among the most serious customer complaints because you're dealing with people's money. The way you handle billing issues can make or break your relationship with a customer. Pricing mistakes, not applying discounts, and failing to assign rewards points are all billing mistakes. With billing issues, it's not usually the mistake that gets you in trouble. Customers know mistakes will happen. It's how you handle the issue. Here are three ways to handle billing complaints better. Thank the customer. When customers tell you about a billing problem, it's like they're pleading with you to get it right. They want you to fix the problem and make it okay for them to keep doing business with you. Thank customers for giving you a chance to fix billing problems. Thanks for giving us a chance to fix this. Or, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Don't challenge the customer. I was behind a customer at the customer service desk in a retail store. She was returning a rubber stamp. She explained to the employee, my stamp won't make a full impression. The employee refuted here. That's because you're not doing it right. And he took the stamp from her and pressed it on a piece of paper. It didn't make a full impression for him either. He tried again, and again. Without acknowledging that the customer was right, he handed the customer a form and told her that they'd have to order a replacement. The employee assumed the problem was customer error, like the store couldn't possibly make a mistake. When it turned out that the product had a flaw, he didn't even acknowledge it. Remember, billing issues are more sensitive than other complaints. Your focus is not to prove the customer wrong but to understand the issue they're trying to explain to you. If the customer is mistaken, and this happens, carefully and tactfully walk them through why the billing is correct. And lastly, apologize, regardless of fault. An apology is a powerful tool that can help you disarm an angry customer and help you regain customer goodwill after a problem. You can apologize without assuming fault by saying something like, we're sorry you're having this problem. When it's just a misunderstanding, still apologize. I'm sorry for any frustration this misunderstanding has caused you. I bought a tunic and got home to see that I was charged twice for the top. I went right back to the store to get my credit. I feared that I would have to prove that I only bought one top. But the employee apologized for the error and my inconvenience and credited back my card. I walked out of the store feeling relieved. Handling billing issues should be just this quick and easy for your customers.