Why customer complaints are good for your Business
Why customer complaints are good for your Business.
I realise that so far all my posts regards customer service have been about offering excellent customer services.
However, I found an interesting article on “Why customer complaints are good for your business” that I’d like to share.
“In today’s internet-driven world customers have more power than ever.
And they love to share, we all do, regardless of the situation.
So, it stands to reason.
That if customers have had a positive/negative customer experience.
They will share it with friends, family and connections.
Which in turn can lead to new business or not depending on the nature of the experience.
All at zero cost.”
Exactly what I have said in all my customers service blogs so far.
“But what will happen if you fail to offer a positive customer experience?
The simple answer is your customers will complain.
According to research by Esteban Kalsky, 13% of unhappy customers will share their complaint with 15 or more people.
Furthermore, only 1 in 26 unhappy customers complain directly to you and for customers that don’t complain, they just stop doing business with you.
There is a silver lining here.
Believe it or not.
A customer complaint highlights a problem.
Whether that’s a problem with your product, employees, or internal processes.
Hearing these problems, directly from your customers, you can investigate and improve to prevent further complaints in the future.”
No company is ever going to be complaint free.
No matter how good they are, it’s human nature to complain.
So, you shouldn’t aim for zero complaints.
You will only stress yourself into an early grave at worst, or have a nervous breakdown.
What’s important in all of this is how you handle these complaints.
What processes do you have in place to make sure you are giving your customers the service they expect?
Remember only 8% of customers think they are receiving good customer service.
Compared to 81% of companies thinking they give good customer services.
The report continues: –
“Furthermore, research finds that customers complaints handled quickly.
Can often turn those customers into loyal clients and even brand advocates.
Simply put, a customer complaint can become very profitable when you can resolve their problem.
Complaint analysis used to track, categorise, and handle customer complaints.
When a customer makes a complaint, he or she is voicing a concern about your product or service.
However, not all complaints are to be treated equally and there are several questions to ask yourself before you act, including
- Has this happened before?
- Have the complaints been recorded?
- How often does the same complaint arise?
- Has the same customer reported this before?
By answering these questions, you can take the necessary steps required to prevent them from happening again.
For example, if several customers complain about a specific issue, you can use their opinion to improve your product or service.
Or, if you are working on a solution, and you still receive complaints from your customer base.
Why not create an email template for support that explains, in detail, how you are going to resolve it.
How to handle customer complaints
Once you have analysed the complaint, it’s time to respond.
Use the five tips below to help transform complaints into a golden opportunity for your business.
Listen and understand
Always listen to your customers.
They have complained for a reason and it is important to understand why they are complaining.
Research has shown that customers care more about quality than fast response.
Take time to listen and understand what their problem is.
Don’t be afraid to apologise for a mistake.
Many customers are simply looking for an apology and acknowledgement of their complaint.
Yet so many businesses are hesitant to admit a mistake has been made.
Don’t underestimate the power of an apology.
Research by the Nottingham School of Economics found that.
Unhappy customers are more willing to forgive a company that offers an apology as opposed to being compensated.
In the findings from the study 45% of customers withdrew their negative evaluation of a company in light of an apology.
Whereas, only 23% of customers withdrew their negative evaluation in return for compensation.
The researchers concluded that when a customer hears the words “I’m sorry”, it triggers an immediate instinct to forgive.
But don’t just stop at an apology follow through with a promise to resolve the complaint.
Find a solution
When your customer has a legitimate complaint, it needs to be solved.
Give your customer service team the authority to handle most customer complaints.
To avoid passing your customer to a series of people and managers.
If the issue can be repeated make the necessary changes so you don’t receive another complaint.
Follow up with the customer
Make sure that you follow-up with your customers to ask that they are satisfied with the solution.
This can be in the form of a follow-up email or survey asking for feedback on how the complaint was handled.”
I would think twice about using a follow-up email or survey.
Instead, why not call them it helps with the customer feeling valued that you took time out of your busy day to call them.
Reinforces the personal touch.
Some customers, in fact, most people ignore surveys and feedback/follow-up emails, don’t take it personal, we all do it, it’s only human nature.
“About 70% of customers leave a company because they believe you don’t care about them.
Other reasons include
14% – Customer is dissatisfied with service
9% – Customer persuaded to go to competitor#
5% – Customer gets a friend to give the service
3% – Customer moves away
1% – Customer dies
Very few companies follow-up with their customers.
Following up shows you care and this makes the customer feel important.
You have acknowledged the mistake, fixed the problem and followed up.
Now it’s your chance to go one step further and exceed customer expectations.
Whether this is to send a hand written thank you note, or to give the customer timely access to your new product features.
In doing so, the next time your customer talks about your business this will be the message the communicate most.
Customer complaint checklist
Solving customer complaints is a lot like putting out fires.
It’s reactive, and no matter how good your product or services is, it’s impossible to please all of your customers”
Remember there is no such thing as the “perfect” company or a “zero complaint zone”
“The next time you receive a complaint, use the following 5 step check list to respond, resolve and keep your customer happy;
- Acknowledge the complaint.
- Inform the customer that you are taking action.
- Record and categorise the customer complaint.
- Resolve the complaint according to company policy.
- Follow up with the customer to make sure they are satisfied.
Handling customer complaints is an ongoing process.
Remember, if a customer leaves you, you lose business.
Don’t be afraid to escalate reoccurring complaints to top management to get them resolved quickly.
Proactive complaint handling
As mentioned earlier, not all customer will complain directly to you.
The world-wide web enables customers to share their opinion in multiple channels.
Including forums, comparison websites, social media networks and more.
Without taking the necessary steps these complaints can snowball and even go viral.
This means you need to engage in proactive complaint handling.
Finding complaints online is not easy, but here are a few suggestions on where to start.
Have any negative comments been made on your blog?
Has your brand name been mentioned on Twitter?
Do customers post messages on your Facebook brand page?
Has anyone left a critical review on your Google My Business page?
Are the comments made on YouTube channels positive?
Is your brand listed in any complaint directories or forums when you search in Google?
All these channels will need to be monitored. If you don’t respond readers will assume you don’t care.
If you respond to messages online, it is seen that you are trying and that you care.
This act alone can inspire brand loyalty and customer confidence
Customer complaints are important.
There’s no better way to collect direct feedback from your customers and improve your product or service.
However, the way you handle a complaint is the difference between keeping a customer or losing one.
So, next time you receive a customer complaint listen to what the customer has to say, apologise, find a solution.
Then follow-up to see if he or she is happy with the way you are handling it.
In doing so, you are on your way to creating more loyal customers, improving your product and delivering a better quality of customer service.