Dealing with customer complaints can be daunting, but it’s an essential aspect of running a business.
By addressing customer complaints promptly and effectively, businesses can improve their products or services, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately, grow their business.
Let’s dive into this article to discover how to handle customer complaints effectively!
What is Customer Complaint?
A customer complaint is a statement or expression of dissatisfaction or disappointment from a customer regarding a product or service they have received or experienced.
Quality, service, delivery, price, or any other aspect of the customer experience are examples of this. Complaints can be made over the phone, via email, social media, or in person.
Based on Esteban Kolsky’s research for ThinkJar proves that 91% of customers dissatisfied with a brand will leave without expressing their complaints.
That’s why businesses or companies must strive to address and resolve customer complaints promptly and effectively to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Type of Customer Complaints
There are various types of common customer complaints, some of which include:
- Product-related complaints: These complaints pertain to issues with a product’s quality, durability, or functionality.
- Service-related complaints: These complaints pertain to issues with the level of service provided by a company, such as poor customer service or lack of responsiveness.
- Billing and payment complaints: These complaints pertain to issues with billing, invoicing, or payment processes, such as incorrect charges or billing errors.
- Delivery-related complaints pertain to issues with delivery times, shipping costs, or missing or damaged goods.
- Technical support complaints: These complaints pertain to technical support or troubleshooting assistance issues.
- Online customer complaints: These complaints pertain to issues related to online customer services, such as website issues, online order issues, or online account issues.
- Discrimination or harassment complaints: These complaints pertain to issues related to discrimination or harassment of customers by employees or other customers.
- Social and environmental complaints: These complaints pertain to issues related to the company’s social and environmental impact, such as labor practices, sustainability, and environmental impact.
Customer Complaints Examples
To help you better understand what a customer complaint is, here are some examples of common customer complaints that businesses should be aware of:
1. Long waiting time
Customers expect quick answers and want to save time. Long waiting times for customer support can lead to customer complaints and potentially losing customers.
This is also proven by studies that show that after about two minutes, customers are more likely to hang up, and 34% of them will not call back.
You can lose up to a third of your customers just for not quickly picking up the phone.
2. Out-of-stock products
Out-of-stock products are usually a good sign for a business or company. The company has managed to sell its products beyond the sales targets set.
Even so, this can also trigger a new problem. Customers may submit a complaint if they are still looking for the product they want to buy due to it being out of stock.
It’s essential to keep product stock levels high to avoid this complaint.
3. Delayed delivery
As we know, customers want products or services delivered to them as soon as possible.
Delivery delays occur, but informing customers of delays can lead to positive feedback and complaints.
4. Defective or damaged products
One of the most common reasons for customer complaints is poor product or service. Such as damaged products, not by the description, incomplete, etc.
It’s crucial to check products for defects or damage before selling them.
5. Poor service
Every customer wants the best experience with satisfying service. But not infrequently, customers find services that are just the opposite.
This includes the representative’s personality and tone, as well as the timing of the service.
When your representative provides poor service, where customers feel the service provided by your business or employees is lacking, not good, unprofessional, or even seems rude.
This will make customers think your business has failed to meet their needs. It is these factors that can trigger customer complaints about your business.
6. Repeating explanations
Customers can be frustrated when asked to repeat an explanation of their problem to a new representative.
Therefore, you and your team need to pay close attention to what customers are complaining about to avoid frustrating experiences for your customers.
7. Diverted calls
You may have had a situation where you call one phone number, and then you’re diverted to another.
Even worse, you must wait 30 minutes to be connected to the operator. It’s no wonder 70% of consumers are annoyed when they hear, “I need to switch you to another carrier.”
The most frustrating part is explaining your problem from the start, with all the nuances and details that can confuse someone new to the subject.
Remember that explaining over and over is a good use of time for your customers.
8. No response on social media
Social media is essential for businesses, including responding to customer inquiries.
Often, customers will reach out to businesses via social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn before looking at the knowledge base or FAQ.
They expect a quick response, so it’s important to treat social media as a customer service and sales channel. Failure to respond quickly may result in customer complaints.
9. No solution at first
When customers contact a call center or customer support, they expect their problems to be solved in one call.
Studies show that most complaints can be resolved if the service request is fulfilled during the first call. If the issue still needs to be resolved during the first call, it can lead to additional complaints or dissatisfaction.
Businesses must know how to effectively handle customer complaints on the first call to avoid further issues.
Also Read: Understanding What is Call Centre
10. Complaints are not followed up
If you don’t follow up on customer complaints, it can lead to new complaints. If your representatives don’t check in on the resolution of a customer’s problem, the customer may feel like their issue has been forgotten.
This can lead to more dissatisfaction and additional complaints about your business.
11. Requests for new Products or features
Although it rarely happens, it could be something the customer service team is facing.
If your product or service doesn’t meet your customer’s needs, they will ask if they have additional products or features.
Even though your product or service has many benefits, some customers have special needs, so you need more than the benefits you offer.
Therefore, they request additional products or features.
How to Handle Customer Complaints?
Here are some ways to handle customer complaints:
1. Listen actively
One of the most important aspects of handling customer complaints is actively listening to the customer’s complaint.
Allow the customer to express their concerns fully without interrupting or dismissing them. This will help you to understand their issue more clearly and respond more effectively.
Acknowledge the customer’s frustration and apologize for the inconvenience they have experienced.
By apologizing, you show that you take their complaint seriously and care about their experience.
3. Take ownership
Take ownership of the issue and assure the customer that you will take steps to resolve it.
This will help to build trust and confidence with the customer and demonstrate that you are committed to addressing their concerns.
4. Be empathetic
Show understanding and empathy toward the customer’s situation. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand how they are feeling.
Doing this will help to de-escalate the situation and make the customer feel heard and understood.
5. Find a solution
Identify the root cause of the problem and find a solution that addresses the customer’s concerns.
This may involve providing a refund, offering a discount, or making a replacement. It’s crucial to find a fair and reasonable solution for both parties.
6. Follow up
Follow up with the customer to ensure that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction. The customer will be able to provide feedback and verify that the issue has been fully resolved.
7. Keep records
Keep records of the complaint and the steps taken to resolve it for future reference. You will be able to track customer complaints and find patterns or areas that need work.
8. Use it as feedback
Use customer complaints as feedback to improve your products or services.
Take the time to analyze customer complaints and use the insights gained to make changes to your products or services.
This will help you improve your customer’s experience and prevent similar complaints from happening.
9. Be patient
Stay calm and patient when dealing with difficult or angry customers. It can be challenging to handle customer complaints, especially when the customer is upset or angry.
But it’s essential to stay patient and not react negatively. Instead, remain calm and professional, and work towards resolving the issue.
10. Stay positive
Stay positive and professional, and thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention. Even if a customer has a complaint, this will help keep the relationship positive.
Additionally, it will convey to them your willingness to assist them and the significance of their complaint.
11. Use technology
Tools like CRM software can help businesses increase their chances of providing seamless problem-solving.
A CRM system allows businesses to track and manage customer complaints, prioritize them, and assign them to the right team member.
It also gives a comprehensive view of customer interactions, helping identify complaint patterns and trends.
Also Read: Understanding What is CRM Software
Importance of Customer Complaints
Customer complaints are essential to any business as they provide valuable feedback on improving products or services.
It also can help businesses to:
- Identify problems: Complaints can help identify areas where a business is falling short, whether it’s with a product, service, or customer experience.
- Improve products or services: By listening to customer complaints, businesses can improve their products or services to meet customer needs better.
- Increase customer satisfaction: Businesses can increase customer satisfaction by addressing customer complaints and making changes to improve customer experience.
- Gain customer loyalty: When complaints are handled effectively, customers are more likely to remain loyal to a business.
- Positive reputation: Addressing customer complaints in a timely and effective manner can help to maintain a positive reputation for a business.
- Identify potential legal issues: Unresolved complaints can sometimes lead to legal problems, so it’s essential to address them quickly.
- Cost-effective: Addressing customer complaints can be more cost-effective than losing customers. It’s cheaper to keep current customers than to acquire new ones.
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