Sometimes things happen and clients complain. But, if you handle complaints properly, clients show greater loyalty. If you play it right, you can turn the situation around. Also, you can improve your business.
Every complaint is an opportunity for you to see company’s flaws through the customers’ eyes. Complaints also point out company’s weaknesses. Through pointing out weaknesses, you are able to improve performance. Finally, if you improve performance, you will please customers. That’s the circle of complaint handling.
When customers complain, they want to make things right. They want to restore their faith in your company. Also, many customers don’t want to change suppliers. But, it takes more than correcting a problem to cure customer dissatisfaction. These are the ways to turn customer complaints into business success.
1. Provide customers with ALL necessary information
Customers need to understand what your product or services can do. They also need to know what are the limits to your product. The same is expected from your staff. This way your customers will know whether they have a reason to complain. Communicate that information loud and clear. Consider websites, leaflets, labels… Everything your clients use.
2. Encourage complaints
It sounds strange, but you should encourage customers and staff to complain. This shows that you take complaints seriously. It also shows that you are not afraid of hearing complaints. When you encourage staff to be open about the customers’ problems, management can react better. It’s important to encourage staff to feedback their experiences too, especially when your business is growing. Staff can be customers too, and they can suggest solutions to the clients.
Focus on the number of resolved complaints and customer satisfaction rather than the number of complaints.
3. Make it easy for customers to complain
When unhappy customers struggle to complain, they usually just end up frustrated. They also often give up on your company without you knowing the reason. But, when a customer finds it easy to complain, it provides you valuable insight into the problem. Remember that when a customer complains, you have the second chance to make things right.
Use channels appropriate you your customers, not you. Accept complaints through all available channels. Include telephone, email, website, in person etc. Make your contact details visible to everyone.
4. Log your complaints
There are two purposes of each complaint. The first one helps you improve the complaint handling process itself. The second allows you analyse the source of the problem. To make the most of the customer feedback, collect useful information. Make sure you take the name, address, contact number and nature of the complaint. Note the suggested solution to the issue and how the client reacted. Don’t forget the person responsible for the action. Finally, note recommended corrective action.
5. Know the cost of customer complaints
When you lose a customer, you lose their future purchases as well. Poor complaint handling can also mean losing future recommendations by your customers. Also, all the investments in handling the complaint would be lost. Once you do the math, you will be able to see that the total cost is considerable.
Source: Complaint Handling