Why Are Customer Complaints Good for Your Business
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”
An empire build to the size of Microsoft isn’t built without adhering to such an observation and thereby implementing the same in practice with company policies. The point being made here is that customer service pays. A company adds to its reliability when it tries “to make a customer rather (than) making the sale”. When you interact with a customer, several things are addressed. It takes away the mental dilemma that exists for the customer who might seem like a very small thing to be noticed but complaint management is what makes the difference.
What Is a Customer Complaint?
According to Wikipedia, a consumer or customer complaint can be elaborated as “an expression of dissatisfaction on a consumer’s behalf to a responsible party or business.”
The customer can address these complaints through various mediums, such as – directly complaining to the authorities, giving feedbacks over the phone, social media handles, email, etc.
We are encapsulated by an internet-driven world, which has provided us with the comfort and luxuries we never had. These customers can now vent their feelings about a product or service across various platforms and can take your brand at a storm.
The major drawback of feedbacks at such public platforms or forums is that it is fed publicly, so when you are venting about any brand publicly, whether it is right or wrong, it has a wider reach to the audience and thus posing a larger impact.
So, considering this wider reach of the audience, if your customers will share a positive experience, this message will reach out to various connections attached to them. And that, in turn, will help you generate leads and that too without any expenditure at your end.
On the other hand, a research by Esteban Klosky estimates that 13% of unhappy customers tend to share their complaints with 15 or more people. The same research advocates that only 25 unhappy customers will complain directly to you. And, for the rest of the customers, who do not complain, will certainly stop doing business with you.
So, the problem addressed by your customers can not only be related to your product but maybe to your employees or with the internal processes of the organization. Henceforth, when these complaints are addressed and resolved quickly, it helps turn customers into brand advocates.
Simply put, a customer complaint can turn out to be profitable if their problems can be resolved without much delay.
Let’s go through some of the benefits that we can get from these customer complaints:
Significant Benefits to Enjoy from Customer Complaints
1. It helps to identify the gaps in your services
For a customer, it may be a new complaint, but for you, that issue may sound usual as possibly you might have heard the same issue multiple times. It might also be possible that multiple customers have gone through the same experience, but some didn’t speak up.
So, this caters you with the golden opportunity to not only address the issue but also resolve it as quickly as possible so that you don’t lose more customers due to the same issue.
These complaints can be related to the maintenance of your business, day to day activities, software or service processes. Some of the services such as rude service staff, slow process or outdated software service, or any other poor product are to be tackled and fixed on an immediate note to avoid any drastic consequences.
Many organizations handle their customer queries and track their issues with the help of software such as CRM, to aid them in making futuristic solutions along with cost cuttings.
2. To Build Loyalty among the Customers
“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.”
Customer loyalty is the measurement of how often customers are going to repeat the business with you. The various industries have different ways to measure loyalty, but the most certain way is to go through the purchases made by a customer in his lifetime in your database. Those customers who tend to appear more often are the most valuable.
We, at Biz4Group, take care of all the real ways to create and keep up with customer loyalty, with the help of the following strategies:
• Set-up communication channels to connect with your customers; setting up frequent communications with your customers lets you pass important information. When you have set-up a database to channelize the contact information such as email, contact numbers, etc., you can regularly send them friendly reminders, greetings, or monthly newsletters. We must not forget to throw the messages that are either a friendly reminder or have useful information.
• Giving a bit extra to the most loyal customers; this is something that would lead to a hot discussion topic, in turn, providing the cheapest way to promote your brand among the masses. By giving extra perks, to your most dependable customers or setting up a reward system, you encourage them to stick around and it possesses an inherent competency amongst other customers to reach that status.
• Delivering a memorable customer experience; we have discussed this already but it is so important to be neglected, according to a report published in Bloomberg, it shows that in 2013, 51% of the customers ended their relationship with a business just because they were unhappy with the service they were receiving. So, it makes a long-lasting impact on how you treat your customers, it can either make more business to you or make you lose business opportunities.
3. Internal Training
Employer9s who engage and organize regular internal training for their employees, it is a direct investment for the successful future of the organization. As these employees will deal with customers on a day to day basis, trainings prove to be a cutting-edge practice to fulfill the company goals.
These training sessions when conducted regularly will keep the employees motivated, will help in employee retention, will produce high performing teams, increase productivity and efficiency, and as said will let you remain on the cutting edge of the industrial change.
4. Gives the secrets of competitors
“Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you.”
If you are getting complaints about your software and services, you need to understand that something better is expected by your customers which is already provided by your competitors. Complains are the key learning factors to perform better in your economic market.
Simple steps to analyze customer Feedback
Analysis of complaints is used to track, categorize and handle customer complaints.
The majority of customer complaints can be tackled with the help of simple questionnaires; these can be used to collect valuable feedback and can be used to capture the lacuna in services and/or products.
Now, once you have prepared the format of the feedback from customers, start wrangling through them, by doing simple categorization which includes factors such as speed, accuracy, courtesy, price, product availability, hours, location, etc.
Once you are done with developing categories, go through the list once again; put a mark in the appropriate category for each comment.
You can also categorize them into negative and positive comments, as you would be having both negative and positive ones, so you can break them into negative and positive ones.
Lastly, if any complaint is putting a reference to a particular employee, you can also include him according to the categories mentioned as well.
And, once we are done with the analysis phase, we tend to look for patterns, and themes that tend to correlate them as well, and by this, we can also let the customer know about what went wrong and how you can correct that mistake.
Golden Strategies to Deal with Customer Complaints
Complaints happen every day but the next time a customer pings a complaint to you, follow these strategies to handle a customer complaint smoothly and professionally and to transform it into a golden opportunity for your business:
• Keep Calm; whenever a customer presents you with a complaint, it is more than just a complaint, it’s a golden opportunity for you to turn that complaint into business, so you should stay calm and listen to other prospects, choosing to be professional and behaving in that way will steal the deal for you.
• Be a Good Listener; whether your customer is saying anything out of frustration or giving positive feedback, just as a good listener, first let him complete by acknowledging what he is saying, and once the situation is clear to you then you can positively put your opinion.
• Acknowledgment of the Problem; whether a customer has reached to you in physical or he has used any social media handle to generate his complaint, acknowledgment of the problem is must, show him that you and your team is concerned about the problem he has faced and admit if the complaint is genuine and assure your customer that it won’t be repeated in near future.
• Offer a Solution; once you are done with all the analysis and have got sufficient details about the problem, be courteous and respectful to take the charge of the situation and let the customer know that his issue will be solved. This might have happened unknowingly but solving the issue at first will help to change the perspective of customers for the brand or product you are advocating.
Handling Customer complaint checklist
As we have gone through various phases of handling customer complaints, from training staff to improve our services and systems, now, we provide you with a checklist that will help you in better management of complaints:
• Always encourage feedback from the customers even if they are dissatisfied with your product.
• Ensure the complete cycle of complaint handling including those employees who deal with customers.
• An early response as quickly as possible is always better, especially when the feedback is on social media handles to avoid the damage it can cause to the reputation of the brand.
• Being polite and calm and avoiding unnecessary debates will help you to understand the concern in a better and clear way.
• Take ownership, i.e. accept and apologize for the complaint, even if it is a small issue.
• Have a record of details being catered to you that will make you ready for any future consequences.
• Have a regular Follow up with the customer whether his issue was resolved or not.
• If the issue being handled takes longer than the usual time, it's your duty to keep the customer informed about the progress of his issue.
• If any negative complaint stays online, reassure other customers, that you have taken care of the issue and this won't be repeated in the future.
Indeed! Customer complaints are important.
And there could be no better way to collect direct feedback from your customers and improve your product or service.
Henceforth, the difference between retaining a customer or losing one lies in the way you handle a complaint. So, next time you receive a customer complaint, listen to what the customer has to say, apologies, find a solution and follow up to see if he or she was satisfied with the way their concern had been handled.
While doing so, you are on the way to creating more loyal customers, improving your product and delivering a better quality of customer service.