Too often companies and businesses are disheartened by customer complaints or negative reviews. What those businesses fail to recognize is that any sort of negative feedback is usually an outline of the customer’s criteria that you have not met.
It is no longer the 19th century or even the 20th century, customers most likely aren’t with you because there’s nowhere else they can get similar products or services. In fact, for every product or service on the market, there are at least tens of others that are either similar or exactly the same out there. What sets you apart from the rest is largely the experience of purchasing from your particular business.
Companies have their own expectations of what they want customers to take away from using their business, and customers have their own expectations of how they wish it would go. The fact of the matter is the two rarely align in real life. The only way to get as close to expectations as possible is to view customer complaints as the blessings in disguise that they are.
Through online customer satisfaction surveys you get an understanding of not only what they expect from you, but also how well you fare against their expectations. The truth is, there’s always room for improvement and frankly there is a lot that is amiss when it comes to meeting customer expectations. That’s why it’s important to change your attitude about complaints.
What annoys customer the most? And how should staff respond to dissatisfied customers?
A customer’s biggest pet peeve is when they have a less than formidable experience, spend the time to give feedback, and then be made to feel like they wasted their time and energy. So here’s a few things you can do as a company to change that and make the overall experience a better one.
First off, attitude is everything. No matter what kind of feedback you or your staff get, it should be received graciously. Staff should be encouraged to welcome any feedback, be it positive or negative. It is understandable that some businesses be wary of complaints as there are certain clients and customers who may look to take advantage and seek some sort of financial compensation, but that is not the case with most. It is important to stay objective and seek to use feedback to help improve your brand and business.
Second of all, it should be easy for customers to offer feedback, especially complaints. There are so many businesses that have instructions for complaints to be mailed to some obscure HR office or that the customer call a toll free number and complain there. That sort of set up will only encourage them to take their business elsewhere. It is important to make yourselves accessible and approachable whether it be for complaints or otherwise.
Collect the right data to assess your customer satisfaction
Of course the methods of data collection are also a key element, but first let’s talk about the importance of time. In a lot of scenarios, you’ll find that if a customer comes to complain in person or over the phone, the employees seem to be in such a hurry that it feels as if you’re being ushered away before a single sentence comes out. Of course, that’s probably due to the volume of people waiting to be heard, but in the customer’s eyes if they’re willing to put in the time to give you some sort of feedback the least you could do is show them the courtesy of allowing them the time to do so. And of course, once the information has been collected it would be fantastic to have it recorded and acted upon shortly after.
Dealing with customer complaints
As for methods of data collection, things like complaints and feedback have a way of practically disappearing in some sort of virtual black hole instead of properly categorized in a way that they can be useful and easily retrieved for future reference. It’s vital to have a functional plan and efficient categories that are specific to the degree or type of complaint. And it is important to ensure that employees truly understand the system and know to use it properly as it was intended.
Measuring customer satisfaction through email feedback
The next two points go hand in hand; how you measure the feedback and how much you value it. It’s really easy to measure the feedback you get in a quantitative manner rather than qualitative, but that’s not necessarily useful. By counting the number of complaints versus good feedback you got, the only thing you’re really doing is boosting or depleting morale.
By looking at the numbers alone you don’t give importance to the actual complaints and what can be done about them. So while it may be a little more time consuming, it’s more beneficial for your business to look at the value of feedback in a more in depth way.
Employees should be encouraged to capture important details of the complaints that can be used to create plan of action.
We hope you found this information useful, good luck in your venture!