When your business receives a customer complaint, it is natural to feel defensive. However, keep in mind that most complaints will be genuine issues from disappointed customers. Their intent is an authentic gesture to let you know that your business has made a mistake.
How you respond when you receive a complaint—especially in the landscape of the internet—is critical. Consider the following:
- According to research by Esteban Kolsky, 13% of unhappy customers will share their complaint with 15 or more people.
- Many customers don’t complain, but rather just stop doing business with you altogether.
- 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.
So, you can see why your reaction and level of seriousness when confronted with a complaint is so important. Analyzing a complaint from the customer’s point of view is critical. It’s not always easy, but if you can manage it, you’ll learn about the areas of your business that can be improved or changed. Ultimately, you will win more customers while keeping your existing ones happy. And a happy customer can do wonders for your business.
Valuable Data at Zero Cost
The most successful, customer-obsessed companies embrace complaints as unsolicited feedback. No surveys, no loaded questions, no focus groups required—and best of all, absolutely no cost. A complaint is direct interaction from a customer, and it should be treated as a valuable source of information for your business. Customers complain because they’ve experienced a problem with the way your business operates. If you can resolve their problem, you’ll also be resolving the problem for other customers who might have left for a better alternative in the market. In fact, for every customer who bothers to voice a complaint, there are an estimated 26 who remain silent.
It’s All About the Relationship
Resolving a customer’s complaint right away helps build strong customer relationships. You must act swiftly and completely. The easier you make the process, the better your customer impression.
Recent studies suggest that retaining customers is much more valuable and less costly than attaining new ones. In fact, customer support research has shown that businesses that can grow customer retention rates by as little as 5% typically see profit increases ranging from 25% to 95%.
Customer Complaints Used the Right Way
In summary, complaints are an inevitable part of any business, but you can use them strategically to operate more efficiently and profitably. Welcome customer feedback as part of your company’s culture. Handle customer complaints carefully, learn from them, and use them to build a better business. If you implement processes to listen to your customers, you’ll uncover valuable information regarding not only what makes them unhappy—but also what you can do to restore satisfaction.
By the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Are you keeping pace? Katabat can help! Our industry-leading customer experience solutions are our ethos, and we’ve built a standout complaints solution that standardizes and automates your complaint management process from any touchpoint. If you would like to learn more about how Katabat can help you manage your customer experience or resolve your customers’ complaints for improved satisfaction, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.