Thursday, February 16, 2012

Handling Consumer Complaints

Handling Consumer Complaints
Deal with the person’s feelings
Deal with the problem

1. Listen
2. Establish rapport
3. Create solution
4. Close
5. Take action

Dave J., consultant to the Sta Rosa Complex Supply Chain goes to Sta Rosa from Pasay via SLEX.  He drops by Starbucks in San Pedro Petron for a cup of coffee in the morning. Last 15 February, the bill for about a hundred was charged against his international credit card. When he reached the complex and checked his bill, he discovered that the swiped amount was in thousands.

During lunch time at Solenad (a few kilometers from the complex), I suggested to Dave that he informs the outlet right away to reverse the online credit card transaction. Unfortunately, the documents did not provide the contact cell, landline nor email contacts. Dave says no problem because the staff knows him and can be corrected the next day.

I suggested that we handle the correction right away to catch the credit card debit process. I likewise expressed interest in observing having gone through a Consumer Complaint Handling program of Quality Assurance. As there was a Starbucks outlet nearby in Nuvali (not the outlet where the sale was made), Dave readily agreed to present his case.

With the bill and the attached credit card duplicate slip, we went to Starbucks Nuvali counter. The barista was with another young personnel. Dave presented his case to both of them. As an American, he was polite, unassuming and courteous with the staff. I was civil.

Here is how it was handled.
“The entries do not match.” “Where sir did this happen?”asked Gail.  “At the Petron station,” Dave answered. I added the info that he used an international credit card and is due to leave in a few days.  Then Gail casually said in a friendly manner “Usually, they rebate the balance in cash.” Gail then asked for cell contact numbers for contact. (Dave was not sure on the correctness of the local cell number.) After a short talk, Gail asked to be excused so he can alert the store manager of San Pedro.

In the meantime, Dave and I still standing continued our casual conversation. After a while, Gail returned back to the store and said:
1.  Info on the incidence was relayed to the San Pedro Store Manager.
2.  Manager apologized for the inconvenience.
3.  Credit card transaction was reversed. If Dave goes back to Starbucks in San Pedro the following day, he can claim the cancelled transaction slip.
4.  The coffee orders are on them.
In less than 10 minutes, we completed our purpose leaving the store. As we left, we thanked Gail for the assistance. Gail returned us with a close saying, “Sir our store is just a few kilometers away from your plant, perhaps you may want to visit us.”

We left Starbucks Nuvali pleased recalling that:
• Gail Paharo, the Store Manager listened casually to Dave’s concern.
• Established rapport by recognizing we had a concern and are Starbucks customers by saying “which outlet do you usually take your coffee?” He secured informally information on the transaction in question by asking contact numbers, date and whereabouts of transaction.
• He initially set us up that solution is at hand, cash rebate and San Pedro outlet will reply.
• He took action as he did call the Store Manager in between not in our presence.
• He solved the incidence.
• He closed with an invitation.

What was beyond expectation was, he solved the problem on behalf of the other store: credit card transaction cancelled, purchase was on them all in less than 10 minutes.

He did a service recovery pitch by inviting us to visit Starbucks Nuvali too, to which Dave and I readily agreed.