Pretty sure there is no business that has not received complaints! Even big giants such as Amazon and Target have had their fair share of them.
Complaints happen every day. When your customer complains, it is usually for a good reason or genuine concern. They usually have made a purchase that did not meet their expectations and hey who likes getting robbed of satisfaction?
It might sound like a cliche but happy customers lead to happy business and that is why you cannot ignore even the smallest of complaints.
For example, if you run a restaurant, you can generally tell who your unhappy customers are. They are the ones who don’t like the taste of the food or the one who is glaring at their phone while waiting too long for a dish.
If your servers pay close attention, ask for feedback often, and make problems right. They should be able to turn negative experiences into positive ones. They can also write one-star reviews or blast your brand on social media with posts filled with customer complaints.
So, to maintain a healthy customer retention rate, it’s important to know what the most common complaints regarding customer service are and how to make sure your company does all it can to avoid them.
Good customer service is important not just for business growth but also because it is the key to reducing customer complaints.
Why pay heed to customer complaints in this decade?
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Complaint resolution increases your company’s overall reputation, growth, and success by transforming unfavorable situations into opportunities for improvement and establishing long-term relationships with your customers.
When someone finds something wrong with your product or service, they will most likely contact the customer service team first. So, complaint resolution and giving customer complaints the utmost importance is crucial for the following reasons.
To increase customer satisfaction
When people get unsatisfied with your product or service, they simply stop using your services. However, those who do share their reviews, usually express not only their own feelings but those of other customers too.
When you hire a customer service support person, the motto is providing your customers with a reason that they can be with you but providing them with exceptional support. That exceptional support then results in satisfied customers, eventually leading to reduced customer complaints.
I remember having a negative experience with one of the brands where it took me 10+ calls and multiple chats to finally get my issue resolved. Trust me that is not something anyone would want to experience. So it’s not just complaint resolution but ‘speedy’ complaint resolution that provides the actual satisfaction.
To upgrade your services as per customers’ needs
When customers report some problems with your service or simply features that they do not like, it provides a perfect opportunity to improve your product and work processes. You no longer need to look for ways to make your service more appealing to customers to ensure that they keep choosing you over your competitors.
By studying bad reviews from your customers, you can find new ideas for improving your product that you haven’t thought of before. For that you don’t have to wait for feedback, you can be proactive and ask for it using surveys.
For instance, you can see a customer complaining about responses from a virtual assistant of a food delivery brand. If complaints like this are frequent then they would know it is time to let go of their virtual assistant. Sad for Zia!
Improvement of procedures within your business processes
Negative feedback often highlights flaws in your internal processes and contains hints about what is not working or is unclear to customers.
By analyzing the feedback, you will be able to judge which procedures need improving and which you should simply give up as they are inconvenient or unnecessary. At the same time, you might also receive feedback about your staff and how well they manage their responsibilities.
11 strategies and tips to reduce customer complaints
When a customer complaint arrives to you, handling it quickly and with empathy should be a no-brainer. But how do you actually do that? How does an angry customer become one of your loyal customers?
I have already established that 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 and well it is going to infuriate your customer even more.
Trust me a customer’s wrath is the last thing you would want to experience.
That is why you should always keep yourself cool and stay polite.
To calm and reassure your customer, it is always a good idea to apologize to your customers right away. 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.
Here are the tips on how to reduce customer complaints
Listen like a hero and make notes
Customer complaints aren’t always direct. While some will come straight to your customer service reps over the phone or via email. A lot of complaints will happen on third-party review sites or social media. So you must keep your ear to the ground.
Make notes of the key facts and their concerns, so that you have a record of the conversation to refer to in the future and improve the overall customer experience.
Importantly, don’t interrupt the customer, stay calm and in control. Remember that you are representing your company and they are not directing anything to you personally, it’s all business!
Make sure that the tone you are using showcases that you are genuinely concerned about your customers and you care about resolving their problems and taking their headaches away.
For instance, being genuinely sorry and offering to resolve their issue will help you calm your customers down. When customers feel that you are there to provide a solution and not just sit and empathize with them, it makes all the difference. Act more, say less, and listen the most!
Consider this example where a customer is complaining on Amazon’s page about how his main door broke down. Well, a funny one I know! But you see how Amazon resolved the issue? By just ensuring that they are there to help. That’s probably why Amazon is still the number one online shopping brand across the globe.
This is exactly what outsourcing customer service can do for your business. When you have a dedicated team to address your customers’ concerns there is no way you will ever miss a customer complaint. These consistent efforts for your customers are what result in reduction of complaints in the long run.
Treating customers with empathy is the key to success
It’s going to be difficult to remain calm and do your job after listening to someone rant for 20 minutes. As long as your customer is in line, the only step you can take is to be empathetic towards what they have to say.
Customers are important to ensure that the business works well. If you want customers to be invested in the company, you need to treat them well. Empathy and concern are the key points in ensuring customer success.
You need to pay attention to customers, understand their concerns, be empathetic, and ensure transparent interactions.
Speaking from personal experience, a smart agent can transform your angry customers into loyal ones.
On the plus side, being empathetic with your customers offers a better chance to solve a problem.
For example, “thank you for bringing this to our attention. We sincerely apologize for any discomfort that has caused you. We value our customers and will ensure steps are taken to prevent this issue from happening again in the future”.
You have no idea what these words of assurance can do for your customers. Also, when you embrace empathy, it becomes way easier for you to resolve a customer issue. AM2PM Support’s team is trained to put their emotional quotient to use to the best of their ability and make the customer on the line feel heard and respected.
No doubt, the entire clientele of AM2PM Support is a fan of their services!
Have clear communication with the customers
If there is anything that you need to focus on the most to reduce customer complaints then it is crystal clear communication. Do not beat around the bush, serve things as they are to your customers but also make it a point to be polite.
At times customers come up with problems you just cannot do anything about, in such situations do not gaslight the customer, rather be honest and tell them why you cannot help and offer the next best solution that you have in your pocket.
When you are honest with your customers it becomes easier for you to manage customer service, reason being there is nothing to hide. Most of all that transparency is also appreciated by customers. No one likes to be stringed along and then get nothing in the end. If you cannot help today, just be honest about it.
Prompt issue addressal
Customer grievances can be different. In some cases, it is about your product or service performance. In others, it’s product knowledge and more. You need to prompt issue redressal to ensure customers stay with you.
Giving your employees the right customer tools and technology can help them reduce customer issues in the long run. Proper training and sessions can help as well.
They should also be trained in dealing with customer complaints about quality, price, and time-related issues. When your team is well-trained, you will see a reduction in customer complaints because the team will be able to anticipate and diffuse negative situations before they happen.
Reducing customer complaints about your team can be taken care of with the proper tools as well. Give your team communication platforms or other solutions that can make their job efficient.
For example, having a place to log and analyze customer complaints will help your business see trends and act on them. Communication tools like messaging solutions and ticket management software ensure that all the team members are updated about urgent concerns.
However, if you want to make a judicious financial decision and do not want to invest in ten separate things but still want all the aforementioned benefits- then you should go ahead and outsource customer service! You get it all without any hassle that too at a subsidized price.
Now that’s what we call a win-win!
Looking to reduce customer complaints but lacking the resources to invest on it?
Connect with AM2PM Support and get solutions to all your problems.
Personalization of conversation for each customer is crucial
Personalization is the key to great customer service. Everyone likes it when their name is remembered or their company history is known. When dealing with your customers, make it a point to use their names across the conversation. This is the first step towards personalization of customer support and also the easiest one to take.
A simple but highly effective way to make your customers feel welcomed and heard is by getting on a first-name basis with them. This means greeting your customers by name in all communication channels and introducing yourself to them at the beginning of your conversation.
As it helps them remain in control, reduces stress, and helps them feel more empowered. Something as basic as a quick introduction can make all the difference, and while it seems obvious, not all companies are doing it right now. Make sure you are not on the list of defaulters.
Provide self-service alternatives
Everyone loves self-service options. One of the greatest customer service tips is ensuring your customers have self-service options in the product and its usage. Customers are now tech-savvy and prefer doing things on their own as opposed to someone helping them out.
Great content, video presentations, or IVR systems can ensure customers help themselves in case of issues.
Provide multi-channel customer support
Not every customer likes to get on with phone calls for certain inquiries. Multi-channel support is thus required. You need to offer a bunch of ways for customers to connect with them. Why? Let’s find out.
Many customers still choose to call a firm even with all the digital customer care choices available, especially during complicated situations.
For example, consider the scenario when you purchased a new device online that was delivered default or broken. Because it’s more personalized and you can’t go into more depth on chat, you can call the company’s helpline to resolve the issue.
Therefore, call or phone support maintains its place in the digital era when you require personalized customer service regarding more complicated issues.
However, under a different circumstance, for instance, a complaint about the size of the apparel brought, live chat would be the ideal solution.
And for queries that might need attachments or detailed information, emails can be the ideal solution.
The conclusion of it all? Just make your customers’ lives easier and you will already see a tremendous difference in the number of complaints you get.
Automate your customer service department
Considering automation support is another important support tip. IVR systems and chatbots are great ways to reduce the support of human agents. With automation you can improve your customer’s experience in call centers as well.
Automation helps you solve issues, reduce costs, and allow your team to handle complex issues.
For example, when a customer calls a movie theater to inquire about times.
The IVR system uses an updated database to present the caller with a list of the latest available movie times, helping to eliminate call wait times and leading to greater customer satisfaction.
Follow-up once the problem is resolved
Check in with customers and regularly collect feedback to know how the process can be made smoother and simpler. Choose surveys, text messages, emails, or phone calls to see how customers are interacting with services and products. Customer feedback is the key to understanding whether the service worked for the customer or not.
Being proactive not only helps you reduce the number of complaints you receive but also helps you recognize and resolve a problem before a customer reaches out to you.
Watch your tone and the words you pick to converse
Harsh complaining words while addressing customer queries can lead to negative results. You need to use positive, comforting, and hopeful words. After all, you are a ray of hope for them that will resolve their problems, if you end up being negative yourself just think how it will impact the customer on the line waiting to get solutions.
When you wouldn’t want to be in one such situation yourself then why put your customers through it?
Even if the solution ends up being positive for the customer, framing it in a negative way typically leaves customers with a negative experience. In this case, it’s essential to frame the solution as positive so that the customer interprets it as such.
The end result is going to be the same no matter the language you are using however, a positive conversation will not just get the customer’s issue resolved but it will also leave them satisfied.
AM2PM Support’s team understands the nitty gritty of the customer complaint processes. The decade of experience is what makes them proficient in handling customer complaints like a pro, and that’s something you cannot miss out on! Give AM2PM Support a try if you are looking to retain more customers, and deliver exceptional services, while also increasing your annual revenue.
AM2PM Support is a package deal, you ask for it, and they deliver!
Pay close attention to the CSAT scores
Measure KPIs and pay attention to CSAT scores. These customer satisfaction scores will impact your customer retention rates. These CSAT scores help understand your customer loyalty and improve customer relationship management.
Collect feedback about specific interactions, services, and products to focus on reputation management.
Your customer satisfaction score is a metric used to understand how satisfied a customer is with your service. Or specific interaction. It is seen as one of the most popular and necessary metrics for providing quality service.
To perform a CSAT score calculation, take the number of satisfied customers (those who rated you 4 or 5). And divide by the total number of answers.
For example, if 62 of your 100 responses have a rating of 4 or 5, your score would be 62.
Manage customer complaints so well that you become unforgetful!
Reducing customer complaints is not fun for most of us, but if done in a warm, professional manner, chances are both you and your customers will be satisfied with the outcomes, and you will end up with a life-long customer.
A quick follow-up phone call a few days later to make sure everything is OK is icing on the cake. Even a small gesture of apology can turn the interaction from disaster to legendary. The cost could be minimal, maybe a simple upgrade on the customer’s next purchase or a small gift certificate.
A simple gesture like this could result in a future referral or a positive word-of-mouth marketing recommendation.
When you resolve customer complaints successfully, you will better understand their needs, retain them as loyal customers, and enhance your business.
If your team is struggling with calls, emails, and messages, trying to answer every complaint, it’s time to set up better solutions. Instead of losing crucial time on hiring and training, contact AM2PM Support right away!