There are a variety of reasons behind why a customer may issue a complaint, but the most common one is that that they are unhappy in some way with your product or service. Most often, only a few customers will take the time to call and inform you about their disappointment. However, the ones that do call are often passionate about what they calling to tell you. This interaction is vital for your organisation’s success and potential future business.
The challenge is that a customer complaint is really a reflection of a dysfunctional product, business process, policy or service. If only a fraction of your customers complain about the issues, it is likely that you are losing business without knowing why. Social media and the ability to instant message on mass; accompanied by the ability to rapidly switch products or suppliers amplifies your problem.
The importance of customer complaints
When your company addresses complaints in an appropriate manner, customers will be left with a positive image in their mind, even if your product or service did not initially meet their expectations. Customer experience has a lot to do with how well your customers react to your brand, and it is imperative to keep this in mind when handling complaints. The more satisfied customers are with your service, the more likely they are to refer their friends, family and colleagues to you.
With the power of social media and the ability to instant message ‘one to many’, then “word-of-mouth” recommendations are invaluable and are often more effective than any type of commercial promotion.
Handling customer complaints effectively is important, because it is often the make-or-break point when it comes to ensuring loyalty to your brand or service offering. As part of the complaint resolution, the customer journey and navigation through various channels will have an impact on the overall customer experience.
Handling customer complaints effectively will essentially help you:
- Understand customers better
- Recognise and address your mistakes
- Build customer loyalty
- Grow your business
- Improve communication
What are the important considerations and what should you prioritise when considering how to handle complaints more effectively?
For Customers – no barriers to making a complaint. Complaints can be made 24/7 and are dealt with seamlessly across all channels whether using offline or online methods of communication – from postal mail, phone and email to social media and cognitive assistants.
Complaints Handlers – insight into everything they need to resolve a complaint with a case-based approach, access to all the required information, all inbound communications into one in-basket, suggested tasks and processes to follow, more interesting work as mundane and repetitive tasks can be managed with robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Customer Service managers – workloads of complaints handlers can be managed effectively, decisions can be made correctly, defensibly (with an audit trail) and in line with any regulatory oversight.
For Business Transformation teams – RCA (root cause analysis) and insights into how the business is performing, adjustments to processes can be easily implemented without burdening IT departments, ability to focus on resolving the root causes behind why complaints are being made in the first place.
Are there any real-life examples? – please read the Permanent-TSB case study and watch the video