Every company receives customer service complaints. But did you know that for every customer who bothers to complain, about 26 remain silent?
The typical business only hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers. Of the 96% who don’t voice their complaints, 91% will “quit” that business and never come back.
Instead of ignoring customer complaints, or worse, getting defensive, view them as a gift that can help you improve your business and overall brand image. They present a golden opportunity to include your customer as part of the solution instead of viewing complaints as a problem.
Identify trends in customer complaints.
A customer who has complained to your company in the past will likely be more attuned to other flaws that your employees or regular customers either don’t see or don’t care enough to deal with. Instead of writing off these constant complainers, view their criticism as free advice on how you can improve your business strategies.
By researching what customers are saying, and identifying those trends, you can avoid creating unhappy customers in the first place, and instead, land yourself in the customer service hall of fame.
Encourage your customers to speak up.
With the growth of customer service on social media, your customers have more options than ever to voice their opinions about your company. Instead of stifling it or dismissing it, face it directly.
Whole Foods is one company that effectively uses its Twitter account to engage its customers, often responding to complaints within an hour. Moreover, they respond in a natural, conversational way so that customers know they’re reaching real people who are listening to them. Often, just the act of voicing a concern and getting a response will go a long way toward making a customer feel valued.
What a company says about itself is marketing and advertising; what customers say about a company is its brand image. You can easily influence your brand’s image by influencing your customers’ perceptions of you.
Engage quickly, focusing on authenticity.
Customers expect their issues to be addressed within 24 hours, or even less than that on a social media site. Quick, courteous responses alone may not repair the customer’s perception of you, but they’re still the quickest path to a resolution. Plus, addressing concerns in a public forum with empathy will help others in your customer base perceive you as a customer-centric brand.
Zappos is known for delighting their customers and empowering their representatives to issue refunds, upgrade shipping, and even send customers cookies without needing a manager’s permission.
With a majority of companies saying they deliver superior customer service, yet only a scant minority of customers agreeing that they do, it’s clear that there’s a big disconnect in expectations. Would your customers say that you deliver superior customer service? Do you even know how your customers perceive you?
With Customer Intercepts, you can find out how your customers feel about your brand, learn their key pain points, and find out how to address them.