Tips for Avoiding Disputes With Your Customers

Disputes with your customers are sometimes unavoidable, but there are ways you lower the chances that one will arise. Depending on the severity of the disagreement, there are many reasons why it’s in your best interests to avoid these disputes turning nasty. For one thing, the internet means that customers have a louder voice than ever before. Online reviews (especially negative ones) influence whether a customer will choose to buy from your . business or not.

With these factors in mind, this article will provide a variety of steps that can be taken to help avoid disputes, and help you manage them when they occur.

1. Confirm details in writing

Disputes are caused for a myriad of reasons, but one of the most common culprits is a lack of clarification between the business and the customer. This lack of clarification is often due to there being no contract, policy or agreement in place which sets out the responsibilities of each party.

Having a written agreement in place is crucial for both businesses and customers. However, it is worth noting here that customers can still enforce their legal rights under the consumer guarantee. For businesses, you should include policies relating to refunds, delivery and exchanges in your terms and conditions. Once a customer reads and consents to them, it will be hard for them to argue otherwise.

2. Read the fine print

Signing a contract will make you bound by its terms and conditions. Subsequently, making sure that you understand the contract before signage is imperative as you should not be relying on the other party for the meaning and effects of the contract. Should you have any additional questions in relation to the contract, it may be helpful to seek legal advice.

3. Have good communication with your customers

Poor communication is often the root cause of personal conflicts, and this is no different when it comes to business. Open and honest communication with your customers will leave no room for ambiguity and you’ll have a better chance of clearing up any misunderstandings before they become serious. A close and comfortable relationship will enhance constructive criticism and allow for honest feedback when problems arise. Consequently, complaints must be rectified promptly and respectfully which will allow you to maintain a good professional relationship.

4. Organisation

Being organised acts as a preventative measure from making mistakes. A very common mistake is breaching a contract simply by forgetting the explicit terms and conditions that you bound upon. Implementing an organisation system that reminds you of the important dates and details included in the contract will alleviate all the risks concerning human error. Additionally, keeping copies of all signed agreements and contracts in one place will allow them to be readily available should you need access. Arranging yourself and important files will ultimately as a cleaning measure in regard to deterring disputes with your clients.

5. Train your staff

You should train your staff to handle customer complaints or negative situations in a professional manner. It may be worth having a manual which explains how to deal with complaints. It could include tips such as:

  1. Remaining calm in the presence of an aggressive customer
  2. Framing the conversation in a way which makes the customer feel listened to
  3. Identifying the cause of the problem and coming up with a solution

All staff must also be aware of the scope of their authority and when it may be necessary for them to seek the assistance of their manager.

Conclusion

Ultimately, you shouldn’t wait for problems to occur. These measures when put in place will alleviate issues that may arise when dealing with clients. Inevitably, there will be times when you and your customers will disagree, so it’s important to make sure that you take all the appropriate measures to protect your business beforehand.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

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