Importance of Customer Complaints for Your Business
A business without its fair share of dissatisfied customers is as good as defeated and unsuccessful.
End-users dictate the trajectory of a brand’s success. Their feedback helps expose where the business may be lacking and grants them an opportunity to work on it and improve. Without constructive feedback or a deeply subjective product review that’s based on a buyer’s first-hand experience, it would be impossible for business owners to comprehend how they impact the audience they aim to serve.
If you own a business and find yourself often intimidated by negative client feedback, then this blog should be enough to shift your perspective. After all, startups and large companies both need to know and understand the benefits of handling customer complaints to survive.
What is Customer Complaints?
Customer complaints are a myriad of unfavorable responses from a company’s end-users. It can be in the form of an irate phone call, a negative review, a lengthy blog post, or a rating of two stars or fewer. Present-day complaints are even ruthless—people post photos, status updates, or tag the business itself to let the world know about their unpleasant encounter. The worst part is how quickly these grievances are shared and duplicated across the internet before the concerned brand is given ample time to explain their side.
It is truly mortifying to be at the receiving end of an unsatisfied customer’s wrath. But looking at the situation more closely, it is also an opportunity in disguise. People don’t complain or reach out to businesses just for the heck of it. If their thoughts and feelings are too strong to be left unheard, then shoppers must have some valuable insight that brands can learn from.
Benefits of handling customer complaints
Say, Brand X is a company that specializes in creating software and apps for a seamless and successful event management. Their target customers are fellow businesses, personalities, and a broad selection of organizations. As part of Brand X’s services, they assist in planning events, set up automated registrations for attendees, and prepare activities, surveys, and feedback forms for all the guests to fill out.
If, for every event they manage, they receive a handful of constructive and experience-based complaints, then the company subjects itself to long-term benefits, such as:
Identify blind spots
Each customer complaint is unique because it is based on how the service or product impacts them individually. In that sense, even the finest services in town each have loopholes. At times, it is left unnoticed and unresolved unless there are end-users present to point out the inconsistencies.
In the example above, Brand X may consistently deliver hassle-free registration and check-in processes, but may not be as effective in keeping the event’s programs in full control or collating all the survey forms that were answered by the guests. They may have the capacity to help event organizers plan each gathering from start to finish, yet lack features on their event management app to address all the needs of the attendees. Customers help identify these blind spots so that the business becomes more aware of the underlying issues and starts working on a countermeasure to resolve it.
Determine strengths and unique selling points
There are multiple angles to every story. Similarly, feedback from shoppers can expose a company’s weaknesses while also putting more emphasis on the things that the business does best.
One of the reasons why world-renowned brands continue to thrive amid the presence of their critics is because they have a particular advantage over their competitors. They have an edge to their services, a key feature in their products, or an undeniable charm that is evident in their marketing campaigns. These strengths and unique characteristics often work well on their target customers and it is also what keeps them coming back even after encountering discrepancies with the products.
The more people discuss what they find satisfying and displeasing about a company, the stronger and more solid brand awareness is built by the latter.
Assess competence of the staff and efficiency of each department
How can complaints improve workplace policies and procedures?
Going back to the example provided, the lack of features in Brand X’s app or the need for extreme improvement on how their event management services are executed may be traced back to the workforce operating behind it.
Complaints open doors for companies to conduct internal assessments of their resources and manpower. Does Brand X have competent and experienced staff assigned to handle client concerns before, during, and after their events? Are all the departments well-coordinated? Do each of the personnel possess the appropriate qualifications, expertise, and level of experience to keep up with the business’ demands?
Disputes between businesses and users can also be the result of the misconduct of one staff. When a crew or personnel misbehaves, or fails to meet client expectations, it calls for a deeper probe into the circumstances taking place that may be hampering a productive work environment.
Modify customer service
Internal and external issues affecting the efficiency of a business and the convenience of target audiences demonstrate how important is customer service to a business. It also reflects what end-users want from a company in terms of assisting them in the best and most convenient way possible.
If Brand X is only able to discover what clients disliked about their services after they’ve wrapped up an event, then it keeps them from acknowledging these issues and generating solutions in real-time. A feasible method to improve their customer help desk would be to adopt multichannel assistance. What this means is activating communication lines that are not limited to event surveys or feedback forms alone.
By enabling voice support, it is possible that Brand X entertains a higher volume of potential leads. With email as a method to respond to clients, the company can individually reply to each unhappy customer and provide personalized reparations to appease them. This is also ideal for public disputes or misunderstandings that transpired between businesses and their clients.
Live chat is a flexible, dynamic, and timely channel for customer service. In the case of Brand X, clients get to reach them instantly before, during, or even after the event for any unexpected issue that may arise. In response, the company is immediately informed of any sudden changes that their end-user may need and implement these modifications in the program ahead of time. Another advantage of live chat is it is typically accessible on both desktop computers and smartphones.
Strengthen B2C relations
Believe it or not, raising complaints is one of the many ways that people show their support for a brand. As in with healthy parenting and coaching styles, informing an individual of their weak areas and helping them work on it is a genuine sign of concern. Simply put, the importance of consumer feedback is it is a direct form of end-user involvement in the growth of a business.
Negative reviews shed light on what a brand should focus on enhancing. It puts both business owners and end-users on equal footing, so that both parties collaborate and understand each other better. It dissolves gaps present in all B2C relations and establishes a symbiotic relationship where the company and their audience continuously guide and support each other.
All industries require business owners to have thick skin to thrive. Otherwise, the fierce competition will eat them alive. It is worth noting that, though a brand may target a specific demographic for their services, the experience and satisfaction level may not be collectively the same for everybody.
Businesses that lack constructive criticism from clients are doomed to fail. They are implementing marketing strategies and designing services that are born from a limited perspective. They have a scarce supply of additional hard facts generated from user experience that could be useful in augmenting their operations. Irate customers likewise gear companies for bigger challenges in the future.
Surely, with different customers and leads digging deeper into what a brand has to offer, companies get to see how they affect each client's pain points. There is no telling what trials await a business in the coming years or months, but a good dose of bad comments and grievances from buyers leverages their expectations with their contingency plans.
Springboard for success
One of the best manifestations of how can complaints improve quality of service is the references that it provides for future promotional tactics. Businesses use complaints to create promotions that speak the language of their followers.
Customers hate repetitive promises that lack concrete actions. When brands are constantly in-touch with the factors that trigger contentment or disappointment in their target users, it minimizes mistakes in how they execute client assistance, formulate new products, and approach their upcoming marketing tactics.
How to Analyze Customer Complaints and Work with Them
Now that all the core benefits of customer complaints have been laid out, it is time to discuss the appropriate way to gather and handle negative feedback. The careful assessment of comments from users sets the standard on how to improve complaint management.
These are the steps in analyzing criticisms and low ratings from customers:
Collect all customer feedback from all channels where people can freely express what they think and feel about your brand. Some viable resources for client reviews and reactions include social media pages, forums, and Q&A sites like Quora.
Group all collated responses according to the type of content (e.g: review, comment, blog post, status update or tweet). It is also highly recommended that you segregate positive from negative comments and identify each complaint based on the service or product that it is focused on.
Analyze all the metrics to get a clearer view of what affects customers the most. Is it the way the client support is delivered? Does it have something to do with the packaging of the product? Have there been consistent delays in the delivery of some parcels? Do customers claim inconsistencies with the services? Also, what are some common themes and terms that customers use to refer to the brand?
Regardless of the severity of these concerns, it should also be noted that delegating the segmentation and review of customer complaints to a team of support representatives establishes a well-oiled system that keeps you from missing out on any of these feedback.
Some companies providing live chat assistance have analytical tools designed to compile and generate timely chat reports. A good example is Livechatfairies. Not only do they offer an automated reporting system for all chats exchanged with customers through the chat widget, they also allow businesses to customize and choose which details will be reflected on the reports. Chat analytics are available for scheduling on a weekly or monthly basis. Moreover, the company gives clients the option to outsource live chat agents to ensure 24/7 online correspondence to all queries from site visitors and customers.
Adjust your services and marketing approach based on what customers dictate. If there is one thing you absolutely should not do in the world of business, that is to deliberately ignore your audience. It is unprofessional and shows a lack of interest in the well-being of your end-users.
Why Customer Complaints are Good for Your Business?
Whenever you are stumped or puzzled by why customer complaints are good for your business, think of it as a mirror that reflects who you are as a business. If you want to outsmart and exceed your competitors, the predicaments of your audience could be your secret weapon. You may be up against other brands offering similar products, but at the end of the day, your community of followers are unique to each other. As such, the way you handle their plight is the very definition of just how much you value your customers.
If it is true that “No man is an island”, then surely, no business is successful and triumphant on its own. Honest and constructive criticism from loyal followers will always go a long way.