How To Turn Complaints Into Great Opportunities

How To Turn Complaints Into Great Opportunities

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Every company faces complaints, regardless of what industry they are in, how they run their business or what type of product or service they may supply. And whilst complaints can be time consuming to resolve and sometimes unavoidably damaging, the way in which complaints are dealt with can, more often than not, be the defining difference between a complaint unsatisfactory unresolved, or a complaint that leads to an opportunity. In this blog article we take a look at just how a complaints should be handled and the ways in which they can indeed be harnessed and transformed into opportunities.

Take the steps to resolve the initial complaint

First and foremost you must deal with the complaint swiftly. Resolving any complaint initially can be briefly described within a 5 step process:

  1. Acknowledge the complaint

“I understand that your delivery is late…”

  1. Apologise sincerely

“I’m genuinely sorry for your inconvenience…”

  1. Explain what you will do immediately

“I shall immediately look into this for you and call you back on date at time.

  1. Follow through with the action, explain why this has occurred and thank them for providing the chance to correct the issue (providing options if appropriate)

“Your delivery has been delayed due to there being a shortage of X product, it will arrive on date. You can keep the order as is, or I have these alternatives for delivery in a two days”.

Learn from the complaint to avoid future similar complaints

Key to learning from a complaint in order to seek opportunities is to meretriciously track complaint types and reasons; from here it is then vital that a company is able to analyse the reasons for such complaints to avoid such circumstances in the future. This can be as simple a process as gathering complaint reasons and categorising them for monthly reviews.

In doing so you can:

– Increase customer satisfaction,

– Reduce the time spent upon complaints,

– Reduce the costs associated with compensation.

Social media: A rather different complaint medium

Social media has truly revolutionised the way in which businesses market their products and services. However, despite this powerful medium presenting opportunities untold and audiences that span the world, such mediums also present rather a problem when customers choose to complain through them. However this, probably more than anything else, presents plenty of opportunities… 

Here’s how to use your management skills to take care of the complaint.

An opportunity to resolve multitude of complaints at once

There are few complaints that are unique and many a time a complaint may be a simple misunderstanding and, depending upon your industry, this misunderstanding could be applicable for many customers.

This could include customers who are unaware of their delivery date, despite you having provided this at point of order, as well as within their account backend; or it could be that your customers are not listening or reading set instructions to your product. In either of these instances one complain upon your social media account (and its consequent reply) could serve to educate the complainant, as well as others.

A chance to demonstrate your professionalism

Always maintain complete professionalism when replying to complaints through social media, and reply in a timely fashion. Few customers expect a company to be complaint free and when they do happen these points can show your company in a favourable, professional light.

An opportunity to resolve a complaint with fan participation

Some may think that having other customers wade in on others complaints would be nothing short of a nightmare, however when there are additional comments from other social media users you not only have a chance to rectify numerous complaints at once, but moreover have feedback that can be genuinely invaluable for the purposes of improving your business processes to reduce the number of future complaints.

Customer feedback: Not sure where to start?

The key to transforming complaints into opportunities lies in the feedback and analysis. A service such as that provided by Questback can empower companies through seamlessly feeding back relevant data from surveys that can be presented to the customer at appropriate times (such as when their complaint ticket is being closed). What’s more this can even help cement your complainant’s satisfaction that they have been listened to.

Social Media Week


How To Handle Complaints On Social Media


How To Handle Complaints On Social Media

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Poor Customer Service Evaluation FormSocial media users love to complain. Sometimes I think that the sole purpose of many is to complain. I have to admit, I too am guilty of throwing the negatives out there for the world to see in hopes that the company who “wronged” me will make things better. We all do it.

As a business owner a complaint can sting. Luckily we can handle it publicly and change the way the customer feels about us.

If you don’t know why you should respond, you should read this article that I wrote.

First of all, we need to get into the psychology of those who are writing reviews and commenting online. Despite what you might think, it’s not to harm you.

  • For 87% of people, altruism inspired their reviews.
  • 47% of people write reviews to “help others decide.”
  • 18% of people felt a responsibility to return the favor because they believe reviews help them decide on what product to purchase.

4 Steps To Handling A Complaint Like A Saint

1. Come Up With A Clear Strategy Before Hand
This is something that you need to have a system for. When people say things online that can potentially hurt your reputation what will you do? You need to figure out what types of things you will respond publicly to, what types of things you’ll take offline, and what types of things you’ll ignore all together.

2. Come Up With A List Of Possible Scenarios & Responses
Think of every single question or complaint that has ever been brought up and store them in a document that you can come to later. Underneath each complaint have a response ready or a link ready to point the complainer in the right direction.  This will help you monitor which complaints come up the most and if you are ever hiring or firing someone you know where to find the answers for quick response.

3. Define Who Will Deal With Customer Complaints Online
Will you be the one responding? Will it be an employee? Whoever will do the responding it needs to be clear so that nothing falls through the cracks. This is important. If you ignore the wrong person for too long a storm could brew and be potentially disastrous to your reputation online.

4. Respond Quickly
Most people expect a response within an hour. Yes, we social media folk are demanding aren’t we? Obviously complaints during the middle of the night can wait until morning, but if you are hearing things during business hours, it should be taken care of as soon as possible.

How do you respond to nay-sayers on social media?


Stephanie Frasco is a leading social media marketing consultant. Over the past 7 years, she has worked closely with clients from all over the world to help each of them get more results from online social networks. Through experience, Stephanie has mastered some of the most powerful social media websites. Today, Stephanie provides exclusive social media consulting services to a handful of global clients.

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