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:
- Acknowledge the complaint
“I understand that your delivery is late…”
- Apologise sincerely
“I’m genuinely sorry for your inconvenience…”
- Explain what you will do immediately
“I shall immediately look into this for you and call you back on date at time.
- 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.