Customer feedback is something that’s important for all business types. It not only gives you insight on how customers perceive your products and your brand but it also allows you to see areas of improvement… This typically has a negative connotation associated with it but the reality is that customer complaints are the very things that will help your business become a better business.
Still sound like a business owner’s worst nightmare?
Well, it’s really not, and the sooner you can embrace and see the good in customer complaints, the sooner your business will be able to reach its highest level of success. In fact, collecting feedback is one of the best ways to anticipate the needs of your customers.
When you’re faced with an upset customer, the worst thing you can do is shut down or not respond. An even worse thing to do would be to give unhelpful responses or respond like you just don’t care. The fact that you even have a complaint is good news because it means that someone invested in your business!
That reason alone is all the more reason to do everything in your power to rectify their issue, even if you don’t want to. What people fail to realize is that when customers interact with your business, even if it’s to complain about how they didn’t like a certain part of your service, they will likely remain loyal to your brand if they feel like your company genuinely cares about their complaint and are taking measures to handle it appropriately and in their favor.
So why are customer complaints so important?
The importance of customer complaints are based on three rules of acceptance:
- You have to accept the fact that there’s always room for improvement in every area of your business. Can you confidently say that your business is a perfectly well-oiled machine, or do you have some kinks to work out in certain areas? The bottom line is that you’re not perfect, and neither is your business.
Take the time to listen to your customer and see what they’re concerns are about… the complaint of one customer may stop the complaints of 50 others.
- You have to accept that technology is always evolving and if you don’t keep up, you’ll get left behind. Technological advancements in businesses are nothing new, by any means. But if a customer complains about a glitch on your site or leaves a bad review stating that your site takes too long to respond to queries, you’re slipping in between the cracks and will get left behind if your business isn’t technologically evolved.
With things like chatbots, complaints management systems, and an overall customer-first-focus, your business will thrive off of those facets alone. According to adweek.com, despite the love consumers have for online shopping, they still want a more human experience while shopping online.
This will force you to get a little more creative in your approach because it is an online store but everything from personalized emails to personalized product suggestions can make your customers feel special.
- You have to accept the fact that you don’t always know everything that’s going on with your business. As much as you would love to boast about how this is your business and you know everything that’s going on with it, you just can’t. The complaints, questions, and feedback are going to push your business in the right direction.
But the thing about it is that as a business owner, you’re going to be wearing all kinds of hats, and because of that, you may not even know that your product sold out in three local stores in your area and have been asking for more product ever since inventory started getting low… You never would have known that if it weren’t for the complaints.
Handling Customer Complaints Effectively
Handling customer complaints isn’t this hard task that seems impossible to do. In fact, it can be done in three simple steps:
- Respond to your customer complaints quickly
- Resolve their issue justly and fairly
- Learn from your mistakes and fix the issues that caused the complaint in the first place
The bottom line is that all customers want is to be heard… it’s not rocket science. You will, of course, have to decide how you want to rectify the complaint, whether it’s a full refund, a sizable discount off their next purchase, or a store credit.
Throughout the whole communication process with your customer, make sure you apologize for any inconveniences they experienced, keep them informed of what’s going on with the resolution of their issue, and ALWAYS thank them for shopping with your brand.
Despite you have made a mistake or caused an issue, most customers are very forgiving if you acknowledge their issue, apologize for it, fix their issue, and thank them for being a customer.
Protect Your Business From Mistakes, Accidents, and Other Liabilities
If you have a complaint from a customer and it escalates to that customer seeking compensation, you’re going to want to make sure you have a tailored insurance policy in place to cover any damages aimed at your business.
The biggest takeaway is that no business is perfect and you’re bound to receive complaints about something. Understand that you’re not going to be able to satisfy every single customer you have, but with the proper tools and systems in place, you’ll be able to effectively handle your customer complaints and maintain a loyal customer base.
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