Tips to Deftly Handle Billing Disputes
It happens to all of us from time to time. A customer calls you up to complain about their bill. Perhaps there’s a discrepancy between the bill and the products or services received or they weren’t satisfied with the quality of the item in question. As a businessperson, what’s the best way to respond to billing disputes? While there’s no one answer for every situation, there are strategies you can employ to help reach a mutually agreeable conclusion.
Stay Cool – Whether the discussion is in-person or over the phone, don’t get caught up in the heat of the moment. Before you say anything, pause and take a deep breath before you begin speaking.
Be Empathetic – Whether the customer is right or not, they’ve still felt the dispute is important enough to bring it up. Listen to what they have to say, and assure them you’ll look into the situation. If a customer is saying you have a shoddy product, don’t get defensive. Listen to what they have to say. It could help you improve your product.
Be Transparent – Let the customer know the steps you’re going to take and give them a timetable for getting back to them.
Do Your Research – No matter what you think happened, make sure you verify what actually did happen. This may involve speaking to your employees with direct knowledge of the situation. Once you learn all the facts, you may be surprised at what you find out.
Think Long-Term – This is more than just deciding who was right and who was wrong. Consider the ramifications before resolving the situation. Are you dealing with a loyal customer, or a one-time purchaser? Is this a customer you want to keep at all costs, or one that may make bigger purchases in the future? Look past this one billing dispute to help you determine the best course of action.
Be Willing to Compromise – Once you formulate your response and present it to the customer, remain open to their input for a different approach to resolving the dispute. It may be the best solution for both of you.