What is Customer Complaints?
Customer complaints can be defined as the expression of customer expectations that have not been met in what business promises in terms of the product or services.
Why Collecting Customer Feedback is Important?
It is no longer a secret that online customer reviews and a great online reputation are essential for your marketing success. It has become a common practice for people to check online reviews before buying a certain service or product. According to statistics, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Moreover, 74% of people who see customer reviews on a business website say they would contact the business.
Besides bringing new clients, gathering customer feedback has many additional benefits and can open a lot of new possibilities for your company. One of them is that you don’t need to spend huge sums of money on marketing surveys, as feedback provides useful customer insights for free.
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Importance & Benefits of Customer Complaints
However, not all the feedback you get is positive. According to reports, 34% of consumers are more likely to leave a bad review after a negative experience, as compared to 28% who are likely to share their good experience.
As an entrepreneur, it may be frustrating to receive criticism and unfavorable comments about a product you have put your heart and soul into. But you should not take it personally. As a matter of fact, if you look at them from another angle, you will see that customer complaint are quite valuable. In fact, they can be a game-changer for your business. And here are the main reasons why:
#1. Customer satisfaction enhancement
Many people, when unsatisfied with a product, will keep it to themselves and simply stop using your services. However, those who do share, usually express not only their own feelings but those of other customers too. So when you address their feedback and provide a quick resolution, you are likely to make more than one customer happy. A report by Harvard Business Review showed that when complaints are handled in a timely manner, clients who filed them usually become more satisfied with the service and more loyal to the company.
#2. Product/service upgrade
When clients report encountering some problems with your product or service, or simply features or aspects they do not like, this is the gold. You no longer need to look for ways how to make your service more appealing to customers to ensure that they keep choosing you over your competitors. Customer complaints serve as a source of insights on what areas should be worked on and upgraded. Additionally, by studying bad reviews you can find new good ideas for improving your product that you haven’t thought of before.
#3. Improvement of policies and procedures
Most companies have a number of policies and procedures designed to make the business run more smoothly. However, you don’t always know if they are working as intended and suit your company’s needs best. Luckily, negative feedback often highlights flaws in your internal processes and contains hints on what is not working or is unclear to customers exactly. By analyzing this information, you will be able to judge which procedures need improving and which you should simply give up as they are inconvenient or not needed. At the same time, you also receive feedback about your staff and whether they manage their responsibilities.
#4. Boost in customer communication
Besides, customer feedback also serves as a channel of communication between your company and the clients. The statistic shows that the biggest percentage of clients leave companies because they feel like the latter does not care about them. For many of them, it is important to know that their opinions are taken into account. Furthermore, when clients know that there is an open line of communication and their input matters, they are more likely to stay loyal to your company and spread the good word.
#5. Positive impact on brand image
Having an open channel of communication where customers can report problems with your service or bad experiences also positively affects your brand image. It improves your reputation and makes your company look trustworthy and caring. The more you tend to go the extra mile to address the reported issues, the more satisfied your clients will be. And happy customers are more likely to share their good experience with their colleagues, friends, and family, which only helps to spread the word and build your reputation.
What Should I Do If a Customer Complaints?
As you can see from the above reasons, complaints are essential for your product growth, but the way you deal with them is crucial. For example, arguing back is one of the worst ways of dealing with bad reviews. Even if you are not at fault, getting on the defensive will only make you look weak.
That is why you should always keep your cool and stay polite. It is also a good idea to apologize. Like it or not, customers complain when their expectations have not been met. Often, they just want to be heard, so let them know that what they’ve got to say matters to you.
Try these 7 proven steps to respond to customer complaints and turn an uncomfortable situation into something constructive for customers and your business.
- Address to your customer by name
- Apologize to the customer
- Sympathize with customer’s problem
- State you’re solving the problem
- Offer a gift
- Ask the customer to change the review
- Put up with negative reviews
For more advanced tips and real case examples, check out our in-depth blog post about responding to negative feedback.
Different Ways of How Feedback is Collected
There are many ways about collecting customer feedback. One of the most common and effective uses is surveys. Similar to feedback forms sent to your clients via email, this method allows you to decide what questions to ask your customers based on your goals.
Using social media for gathering feedback is another popular approach. According to Foundr, not only social media can be a great place for advertising and selling your product, but it is also great for measuring metrics and understanding customer needs. They are more likely to leave candid reviews on social network platforms where they have an audience.
You can also learn a lot by checking the website analytics, for instance, what pages are most visited, where users spend more time, details about failed searches, so you can find what information needs to be added.
Even though it may not seem like this at a first glance, customer complaints are a blessing in disguise. With the right approach, you will be able to use them to your advantage and take your business to a new level.