We’re here with practical marketing information for your business. Access comprehensive marketing resources and more.

A marketing strategy tells you what to say, how to say it and who to say it to in order to make more sales. Our guide to the basics.

Market your business online - from your website to social networking, advertising, search engine optimisation, email marketing and more.

The basics you need to know about raising your business profile through advertising, and how to make sure your campaigns are successful.

Focusing on taking care of your existing customers could be much better for your bottom line than chasing new business. The basics of customer care.

No business can survive without selling. Our overview of planning your sales strategy and recruiting, training and managing sales staff.

Get the basics right - our quick guide to the main types of market research and how to get the information you need no matter what your budget.

Direct marketing is ideal for small businesses as it's highly targeted, cost-effective and simple to DIY. Our guide to how to get started.

Start here - find out how attending and displaying at exhibitions and events can benefit your business, and learn how to build your network.

PR

The basic things you need to know about PR for your business, building relationships with the media and managing the impact of publicity.

Handling customer complaints - checklist

From having a clear complaints-handling procedure to training staff and improving systems, use our checklist to better manage customers' complaints.

  • Actively encourage feedback from customers - including complaints if they are dissatisfied.
  • Establish a clear complaints-handling procedure. Ensure that all employees who come into contact with customers understand it.
  • Respond as quickly as possible, especially when the complaint occurs on social media.
  • Be polite and sympathetic, and avoid knee-jerk reactions or anger. Listen to what the customer has to say.
  • Take ownership of the complaint. Give your name as a contact even if you will have to involve others in resolving the complaint.
  • On social media, give a polite public acknowledgement and then take the matter private straight away: do not allow things to play out in public.
  • Establish the facts. Consider whether any internal investigation is needed to gather further information.
  • Record the details of the complaint, including when it was made, customer name and contact details.
  • If possible, deal with the complaint immediately. If necessary, agree a deadline for getting back to the customer.
  • Carry out any necessary further investigations.
  • If the complaint has potentially significant legal consequences, contact your legal adviser.
  • If the investigation takes a long time, keep the customer informed of progress.
  • Once you have established that the complaint is justified, make appropriate restitution. Apologise for your error.
  • Be prepared to reject unreasonable complaints or demands, but in a positive way: explain what you can offer.
  • If appropriate, take internal action to prevent the problem recurring, for example, by training staff or improving systems.
  • Follow up by contacting the customer to check that the complaint has been resolved to their satisfaction.
  • If the complaint was posted online, consider asking if the happy customer would remove it or post a follow-up stating that the matter is now resolved.
  • If a negative comment stays online, consider how to reassure other customers. For example, by stating what measures you've taken to improve the issue or posting testimonials from happy customers.

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