Anyone in business can tell you that customer complaints are all part of doing business. After all, you’re dealing with people who have needs and wants and when those needs and wants are not met, the potential for a complaint increases. To survive and thrive as a business owner, you’re going to need a customer complaint management procedure.
Companies may believe they have a good handle on customer satisfaction by tallying customer complaints and responding to those complaints. However, research has shown that 25 percent of dissatisfied customers who buy from a firm, only 5 percent register a complaint.
What dissatisfied customers want are quick and fair resolutions to their complaints. Between 54 percent to 70 percent of customers who register a complaint will do business with a company if their complaints get resolved. What’s more impressive is that 95 percent of customers registering a complaint will continue doing business with a firm if there is a quick resolution to their complaints.
From this data, customers who feel there’s a quick resolution to their complaints will tell an average of 5 people about their resolution and the positive treatment they received. On the other hand, a dissatisfied customer will complain to 11 people on average. This number can easily increase exponentially if the 11 people tell more people. Marketers are all too familiar with this phenomenon as they have seen customers lodge complaints through social media sites such as Facebook and Yelp that can reach millions of visitors.
The best planned marketing programs can still see misfortune in the way of customer complaints. Marketers are better equipped if they develop a customer complaint management plan and make it easy for customers to complain. Dealing with negative customer experiences properly and quickly can help increase the likelihood that a customer will continue to do business with the company. To deal with customer complaints effectively, see the list below five customer complaint management tips and rules below.
5 Customer Complaint Management Tips
- Establish a customer service hotline that receives and responds to customer complaints 7-days per week, 24-hours per day. Handle customer complaints via a toll-free telephone number, fax, e-mail, online chat, company web forum, or social media sites.
- Contact dissatisfied customers quickly. The longer a company waits to reach-out to a customer and address their complaints the more dissatisfied the customer becomes, leading to negative word-of-mouth discussion with other individuals.
- Do not blame the customer for their dissatisfaction, accept responsibility for the complaint.
- Employ and use customer service personnel that are empathetic.
- Resolve complaints swiftly and to the customers satisfaction. Many complaining customers are not seeking compensation, but would rather know the company cares how they feel.
Unprepared staff may find dealing with customer complaints challenging. However, working quickly and effectively to resolve customer complaints will help reduce potentially negative word-of-mouth social media discussions and help keep customers.
Consider customer complaints as diagnostics to your business. If you actively listen and respond positively, you can help improve your overall business process, products or service.