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How to Handle Customer Complaints of Being Overcharged

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How to Handle Customer Complaints of Being Overcharged. When a customer comes to you with a complaint about being overcharged, it's up to you as an owner or manager to figure out how to deal with the issue. Responding to this kind of complaint takes business savvy, diplomacy and skill in the basics of human communication. Here's how to address the issue without losing your cool.

Evaluate claims for legitimacy. Customers can't just come in and demand payment for being overcharged. In some cases, your customer complaints will be legit, but others will just be people trying to work the system at your expense. You don't need to give anything away to the customer, but it helps you to know whether the claim is true or not.

Ask the customer to detail the price paid and the price he feels should have paid. This buys time and also gets the customer involved in doing some of the work to figure out what he is complaining about.

Offer to check into the matter and say you'll contact the customer. If you don't feel you can find out about the issue in just a few minutes, it may be better to send the person home and give him time to cool off. You can call and negotiate later when you have all of the figures in hand.

Offer compensation quickly if you find the company was in the wrong. Knowing what you're authorized to give a customer helps you handle the situation.

Consider "buying off" problem customers. Lots of managers are beginning to embrace this somewhat new concept. The idea is that rather than arguing with a customer and trying to figure out continual complaints, if you feel a customer is repeatedly problematic and costing you more than he is worth, give the requested refund, and then cease doing business with the person. In some situations, managers will tell you this works pretty well.

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