How to Handle Customer Complaints?
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Discover how to handle customer complaints, what are the most common customer complaints and the 10 best ways to handle customer complaints.
The very term customer complaints conjure negative feelings. How can a complaint be seen as anything other than a bad thing?
Yet no matter how hard you work to deliver high-quality products and amazing customer service, unhappy customers are inevitable. No business can skirt the reality of customer complaints completely. But for companies that know how to handle customer complaints particularly well, they can become more of an opportunity than a liability.
Here are a few of the most common customer complaints, and what you can do to address them:
1) Long Wait Times on Hold:
By the time a customer calls you with a complaint, they are already feeling frustrated. So being put on hold for a long time makes the problem worse. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report, nearly 60% of customers said being put on hold is the most frustrating aspect of a service experience.
Long wait times could mean the demand is too high for you customer service staff to meet. Take a look at the peaks and valleys in call center demand and try to staff those times to match. You may also be able to deflect some customer service calls by boosting your self-service technology. Customers often prefer to resolve issues themselves, so it’s a win-win.
2) Having to Repeat Themselves:
Customers really don’t like having to tell their problem to reps over and over. This happens when they’re transferred between agents. Or, when your customer service reps can’t easily access all the information they need to help a caller. But the end result is the same: when customers have to repeat their issue multiple times, it’s frustrating. And that translates to a poor customer experience.
3) Not Being Able to Contact Support:
Automated phone systems can help triage tickets for your staff, and answer common questions without need for a human agent. But, when a customer gets stuck in a loop without any way to contact a live rep, they get frustrated.
Research shows that people trust word-of-mouth more than brand advertising. 83 percent say they trust friends and family, which is unsurprising, but 66 percent say they also trust opinions strangers post online. And 55 percent of consumers complain on social media when they have a problem with a company. It’s clear: one angry customer’s complaint can be amplified and influence the opinions of many others.
What’s important is that most customers care less about whatever situation caused their initial complaint than how a company handles it. They’re not complaining to make you look bad—they want you to respond with a solution. And if you do it well, you can turn a negative into a positive. Harvard Business Review found that people who complained or wrote negative comments about a brand on social media and received a response were more loyal afterward than those who never complained at all.
1) Make answers to common complaints easy to find.
2) Make sure relevant details move with the customer across channels.
3) Track common customer complaints.
4) Understand the different types of customers.
5) Cultivate the right tone of voice.
6) Listen before you respond.
7) Own up to mistakes.
8) Communicate expectations.
9) Provide the best possible solution.
10) Go the extra mile.
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