Collecting and resolving complaints is an essential part of business.
While collecting them helps you better understand the customer, resolving them effectively can help you recover experiences, build a solid reputation, and ultimately drive loyalty.
So how can you resolve a complaint effectively?
In this blog, we’re unpacking the multi-step process of dealing with customer complaints so you can convert them into positive customer experiences.
Why it’s Essential to Stay on Top of Customer Complaints
Before we dive into the essential tips for converting customer complaints into positive experiences, it’s vital to understand the urgency of collecting customer complaints in the first place.
According to a PwC report, 1 in 3 customers said they will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions.
While for a number of companies, leaving without negative feedback is synonymous with satisfaction, this can be far from the truth.
In fact, only 1 in 26 unhappy customers actually go out of their way to complain. The other 25 just leave.
Further, if a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 people or more.
Experiences that haven’t been recovered have far-reaching ramifications. Word spreads fast, and if customers don’t feel like they have an open line of communication with you, they’ll express their sentiments elsewhere. This not only impacts your reputation but can hinder long-term loyalty and revenue.
Whether you send surveys or have an open channel of communication, feedback gives customers a place to openly provide share their sentiments. It transitions customers off social networks and gives them an open line of communication. In the end, customers just want to be heard and acknowledged. By giving yourself the opportunity to recover the experience, you re-iterate the customer’s value and show them the lengths you’ll go for their satisfaction.
Essential Steps To Convert Customer Complaints
Now that we understand the value of collecting customer complaints, let’s look into how you can begin to convert them.
Acknowledge the Customer Complaint/Always Respond
Although you might not have a resolution in the moment, providing transparency and communicating that you’ll look into the issue is paramount.
It provides clarity and transparency for the customer while holding your team accountable on the back end.
Every customer should receive a greeting within the first 10 minutes of their inquiry and a follow-up on how the resolution is progressing. Not doing so, could leave your customer feeling neglected, forgotten or just not important enough. All elements that contribute to a negative experience.
Convene With Team If You’re Unsure How To Handle The Issue
Handling complaints can be tricky, especially if it’s an issue that you’ve never dealt with before. While you want to provide a timely resolution it’s more important that the issue is dealt with effectively. If you’re unsure how to respond, or if the request is out of your department, communicate with your team. Managers can step in on issues that need to be escalated, and other departments can share insightful tips.
If you’re using a solution like the Loop Experience Platform, this becomes even easier. With Loop, you can have internal conversations in customer chats. If a customer initially reaches out about a messy bathroom but then segues into poor service, you can tag the appropriate team member and ask them how they’d like to move forward. They can either take over the conversation or give pointers so you can continue the conversation with a more accurate answer.
Share Steps To Resolve Issue
Once you and your team have come to a consensus on how you’re going to resolve the issue, walk the customer through the steps you’ll be taking. This shows the customer how serious you are about their satisfaction and can put them at ease knowing that their issue is being dealt with effectively.
During this stage of complaint handling, it’s also important to provide a timeframe. How long will it take you to address the issue? Provide a ballpark number and check in on them every now and again. If it’s a longer wait time than normal, offer an incentive for the inconvenience.
Follow-Up on the Customer Complaint
Regardless of how the customer comes off as you close the complaint, it’s essential for you to follow up with a survey on the overall experience. This can provide more detailed insight into specific areas of resolution that worked and didn’t.
For instance; was the customer satisfied with the steps you took to resolve the issue? Was the assigned employee compassionate and understanding? Did the customer feel it took too long to respond? Will the resolution prevent issues from occurring in the future? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you better understand how successful your process was, and how you can improve it next time.
Train and Educate Staff
Using the feedback from customers and the insights obtained over a specific period of time, you can train staff for a better experience every time. No business is perfect, and it’s important to re-iterate areas in which improvement is needed so employees can tackle them. Make sure to engage staff with presentations, sharing relevant complaints/praises and stats on performance.
If you’re using the Loop Experience Platform, you can create presentations that share vital and engaging information. Using Loop Insights, you can export data into digestible PDFs, PNGs, CSVs and more. Select relevant metrics and customize the look and feel to suit your presentation, simply download and you’re ready to educate.
Customer complaints are inevitable. Even the best businesses face backlash.
And, while we can’t eliminate them for good, there are ways you can manage the complaint and turn it into a flourishing experience. With the right tools in place and a process mapped out, you’re well on your way.