Today you can’t simply sweep customer complaints under the carpet. We live in an age where the internet and social media provides a public viewing area for complaints.It’s vital that you demonstrate a willingness to deal with such feedback if your business is to be successful.
In this post, we’ve picked out three reasons why you can't just ignore customer complaints.
1. Customers who complain are telling you that something is wrong - and giving you the fuel to fix the problem
Customers who complain are actually doing you a favour - they want to share with you that something isn’t up to standard, so you have a chance to fix it.
Such knowledge will enable you to solve the problem for both this customer and also future customers, especially in cases where there are fundamental problems with systems or processes.
For example, in the public sector, 92% of complaints relate to the wider business, with just 8% levelled at the contact centre. This suggests a process elsewhere within the organisation is probably to blame, rather than individual members of staff. Knowing this and using the insight from customer feedback means that you can put it right before it affects the experience of more customers.
2. Customers who feel ignored will soon give up and take their business elsewhere
You need to establish a smooth, positive customer experience by anticipating their needs. Failure to do so will leave a trail of dissatisfied customers who quickly give up and head to the competition.
If a customer service agent fails to call someone back or reply to an email, the customer will make a further demand on the system. They’ll only make another call, and create more work for the team. Known as ‘failure demand’, this virtual game of fetch is costly but easily avoidable because the business is in full control of the way it handles complaints.
Despite this, proactive complaints are usually in the minority of customers. In the insurance sector, for example, just 2% of calls received are complaints - but it’s likely more customers are experiencing the same problem and not say anything about it. This silent majority don't share their feedback, they just give up and head elsewhere. In fact, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, 96% of customers who have a bad experience will simply not tell the business, they've been lost.
3. Customers who you ignore will shout louder to get heard
Nobody likes to feel ignored. When we don't respond to customers or take their complaints seriously, they'll turn to other channels to get their voice heard.
Research suggests that the telephone is still the firm favourite for complaints, with 51% of people deeming it the most efficient channel. But the number of complaints via email and social media are rapidly growing (because of public exposure).
Failure to take advantage of these channels to handle customer complaints will leave them scratching at the door. Some will even turn to online review websites to express their dissatisfaction. The worst part about this is that once a complaint enters an external space you lose your ability to take control of the conversation, you then have to work even harder to reach a resolution.
Every business receives complaints, but those that proactively listen to what unhappy customers have to say, respond in real-time and have the right processes in place are far more likely to come out the other end unscathed.
Looking to understand more about how you can use customer feedback and handle complaints? Explore Part Three of the latest ContactBabel Report: UK Contact Centre Decision-Maker's Guide...