One factor that sets successful businesses apart from their competitors is their attitude regarding customer complaints. No one likes to hear negative reviews, of course. Still, business legend Bill Gates reminds entrepreneurs that your most unhappy customers will often be your greatest source of learning. Beyond this, they can also become significant sources of revenue. As research firm Forrester points out, companies that provide excellent customer service perform better than those that don't.
It's inevitable for even the best businesses to receive customer complaints. But the question is: Do you deal with those complaints the right way?
Customer complaints are never easy to deal with – and unfortunately, many businesses don't even make a real effort to resolve them. One survey on the subject in 2020 revealed that 66% of consumers have had problems with a product or service. Most of these customers complained that they weren't satisfied with their experience, especially since 58% got nothing in return for raising issues. However, it seems that Karma goes around because unhappy consumers informed twice as many people about their negative experiences with businesses.
So, we know that many businesses don't deal with customer complaints at all. As we've noted in the past, most retailers hate dealing with complaints because they don't have established processes set up to help. Without a proper system in place, retailers fail to address their complaints and make them up to their customers. As a result, those unhappy customers (as well as their friends and relatives) avoid the businesses.
If you've just realized that you don't deal with customer complaints that well, you can still turn things around. Transform your realization into an opportunity for growth by implementing the following recommendations into your business practices:
Members of your staff are your customers' first points of contact. Thus, their skills in listening and responding to customer feedback can make or break your customers' experiences.
Your staff can learn how to handle internal and external communication during tough times if they are supervised by public relations specialists. These professionals are knowledgeable in marketing principles, so they can help to craft company announcements, press releases, and response templates that can present your business in the best light possible. They can also train your staff to improve their speaking and writing skills such that they will be able to manage complaints effectively and increase your customers' trust at the same time.
Next, you've got to walk your talk. After listening to your customers' complaints and responding to their feedback, you have to offer realistic resolutions.
To illustrate, a study on post-sale services indicated that product exchanges and maintenance services have the most positive impact on customer satisfaction. While product returns are also crucial in improving complaining customers' trust, consumers are happiest when faulty products are replaced with functional ones. You can even opt to offer maintenance services for these items to increase their satisfaction and trust in your business.
Even when you have resolved your customers' complaints, the work isn't over. You have to further increase your consumers' trust by improving the processes of your business based on their feedback.
Luckily, you can improve your complaints management and provide faster resolutions through Claimlane's complaint management solutions. As an example, our solution for e-commerce businesses assists with documenting complaints, tracking ongoing cases, and providing better outcomes. Through our management solutions, retailers, brands, and suppliers can also offer smoother processes for both customers and service teams. Together, these solutions will make it easier for you to improve your processes and impress your customers.
Customer complaints are inevitable, but you have the power to turn them into opportunities for growth. Keep your customers happy by establishing processes that allow you to accommodate their complaints and improve their experiences.