Why are customer complaints helpful?
Because even the best companies and people make mistakes. There will always be reasons for complaints. Even if you haven’t done anything directly wrong, customers may have expectations that you don’t meet.
The two biggest benefits of customer complaints for you as a business owner are:
- The message draws your attention to errors that no one else might find.
- The contact allows a close, personal bond to be established with the complainant. Which rarely happens with a smooth purchase.
Now, is this a reason to intentionally make mistakes? No, because we want to use the complaints to find and fix bugs. So that no further lawsuits follow. And there will be more and more customers in the number who are dissatisfied but do not contact you, but simply jump off and then tell bad things about you. So our goal is to get as high a percentage of dissatisfied customers as possible to let us know. Not to increase their total!
A lack of complaints leads to subsequent problems
If you don’t get feedback, mistakes will repeat themselves , which takes up a lot of time, nerves and resources. In the meantime, small defects accumulate until there is a big bang at the end of the business relationship. If there is no feedback, you will also not get a chance to make the buyer happy and to make him your advocate. Instead, you just stand in one place and wonder why bad things are being said about your performance.
Customer complaints also help you to record sources of error statistically. In this way, sample solutions for recurring problems can be created. Which speeds up the process significantly. This is where business process automation can help.
Customer complaints are also good for driving overall product development. What do your customers expect? What is the competition doing? What is often broken? Each criticism is a free consultation for your entire team.
Set up complaint management
Provide incentives for feedback through good complaint management. Take the hurdles away from the buyers, for example by being available on multiple channels. Actively ask for points of criticism , e.g. about the possibilities offered by Flixcheck. Allow anonymity in reply. Don’t delete or ignore feedback , but respond to it politely.
Set clear responsibilities within the team . In the case of recurrence, there can be fixed rules, in special cases the service employees are free to make their own decisions. Don’t forget to make a note in the CRM system.
How can you deal with a complaint?
Complaints will only get you anywhere if you respond appropriately. Here are a few tips from our company:
- Listen actively, including on the phone and in chat. Say that you understand the other person and repeat how you understood the statement. For comparison and for a feeling of being understood.
- Don’t interrupt, especially with excuses. Just ask questions for a better understanding.
- Take notes during the conversation so you don’t forget anything important.
- Saying “I’m sorry” works wonders. Above all, most complainants want understanding. As with a private conversation about worries, sometimes the solution is secondary.
- Even if the apology leads to a complaint being withdrawn, it remains your duty as a service provider to find a solution.
- Can’t think of a perfect solution? Ask the customer about it openly. Either he or she has already thought about it or more understanding if you are still looking for one.
Assigning blame is not effective
Internally, as an employee, it may be important to you whose department made the mistake for correction and fair treatment by managers. However, the customer sees your company as a unit. He doesn’t care who’s to blame. A reason that is not justification is nevertheless appropriate. As a sign of transparency and so that the customer knows how the solution is possible.
If a customer has caused the error himself through improper use of your product , you should point out the correct use in a friendly and considerate manner . This will help you avoid customer dissatisfaction and future problems.
Being defensive doesn’t help either
Don’t take complaints personally . The customer rarely complains about you as a personality, but mostly about a defective/missing item or an undesirable action. So it doesn’t help to feel attacked and to go on the defense. This only fuels discussions.
Even if the statement of your counterpart is objectively wrong, the complaint remains justified. A problem arises as soon as the customer does not feel good about the service. A “that can’t be” doesn’t help at this point either. Because either it is exactly like that at the moment , or there is an operating error . This means that the product or the guides may need an overhaul.
Can’t solve the problem? Then either work on it for the future or, if it’s outside your area of business, for example, make a recommendation. Elsewhere the complainants will surely find what they are looking for and they will be extremely grateful to you.
More tips for excellent complaint management
- Also investigate the complaints that were not addressed directly to you. For example, negative ratings on online platforms. Address them and offer a solution here as well. Thank you for bringing this to your attention. If the person who wrote the review is serious and wants to improve something, he will be happy.
- Use modern digital tools in customer service to meet customer habits and needs, even in the event of a complaint.
- An important rule is to let the customer end the conversation. Or say you’ll finish if there are no further questions or comments. Don’t slam the door in anyone’s face. You will be grateful for the time and effort.
- Set a resolution date and make a commitment to stick to it. This also gives you a chance to exceed expectations by finishing just before.
- If consumers can’t avoid buying from you, you can’t rest on your laurels. When customer complaints arrive, the top priority must be to provide the customer with a satisfactory solution.
- The sentence: “This has never happened to us before” does not help. As a company, I think it speaks to the quality of my product. However, the customer only wants a solution for a current problem, not a comparison to previous cases. As with writing, “Show, don’t tell.” Show that you can do better instead of just talking about it.
- If costs are a point of criticism in the customer complaint, this is an indication that there is a discrepancy between the service provided and the customer’s expectations. You should use this as an incentive to revise your service or the customer promise so that the price remains justified. Alternatively, you can offer flexible service packages that meet the needs of different customers. If the asking price is totally inappropriate, you know that the client doesn’t value your work. That too is instructive.