Effectively dealing with customer complaints


October 6, 2015

As proud sponsors of CX Day, at eDigitalResearch are celebrating with a weeklong blog series looking at how to bring great experiences to customers every day.

In this post, we’ll be looking at how simple steps can help effectively manage customer complaints.

As much as all brands do everything they can to minimise bad customer experiences, there are still times when things occasionally do go wrong. It’s how you deal with those moments that’s the difference between keeping customers and breeding long-term loyalty or losing customers for life.

It all starts with a sorry

Turning a negative situation into a positive can be tricky. But proactively stepping in to resolve issues is likely to wow unhappy customers and minimise the number of active dectractors out there.

Turning around a negative scenario needn’t be a big gesture – sometimes even acknowledging that something went wrong and an apology is just enough. In fact, our own research into customer complaints earlier this year revealed that customers place a far higher significance on a simple sorry than they do compensation. It’s why closing the customer feedback loop is so important.

Offering an effective mechanism where customers can feedback in real-time about their experiences is key; by providing outlet for customers to tell you where they think things went wrong means that brands and businesses have the opportunity to apologise, try and resolve the situation and improve for next time – ultimately minimising bad experiences.

Getting issues into the hands of someone who can help

Getting problems into the hands of people who can actually do something about them is key to dealing with complaints.

Gathering feedback is all very well but until you do something with that feedback it’s of absolutely no value to either the business or customers.

Using closed-loop feedback systems means that staff across your business have the power they need to resolve the situation. Intelligent – and the most effective – tools will be able to automatically detect when feedback is negative, analyse comments to find out what exactly went wrong and send automatic alerts to the right team or department within a business; alerts could be sent to the on-duty team leader at a particular store that day or simply the department in head-office whose responsibility it is to maintain product images on your brand’s website.

Knowing your customers and acting proactively

When it comes to dealing with complaints, timing is everything – especially with the ever growing presence of social media networks. The earlier you can get in and resolve an issue, the lower the chance that that particular bad experience has been shared.

Alerts can be sent to staff in any which way – whether it’s a simple email or visible push notification to tablets carried by on-duty managers. In fact, dynamic closed loop platforms can cleverly identify which team member the alert is going to and send in the way they’ve specified or in the most appropriate manner for their role.

As alerts are sent, responses will be fused with other supporting data relevant to individual customers including information such as average spend or loyalty card data. It means that staff across the business are empowered to make informed decisions when it comes to resolving complaints.

Revolutionising customer complaint procedures

Using a sophisticated Customer Experience Management tool means that you can revolutionise your customer complaint procedure. Gone are the days where customer must wait days for a  response – by putting all staff actively in control of your customer experience, issues can be resolved in a matter of hours – or better yet, immediately in real-time.

In fact, since the introduction of our closed loop feedback programme, one client has managed to reduce issue resolution from one week to one day.

With customer expectations continually rising, it’s important that business integrate powerful tools and solutions – without them, complaints could be left un-read, customer satisfaction will fall and the number of detractors will inevitably rise.

Email response

Gone should be the days of waiting five working days for responses to customer complaints