Think about the average day of one of your sales advisors or customer service advisors. How much of it is taken up with complaint calls? What steps are you taking to reduce customer complaints? Instead of your staff's time being taken up with these customer complaints, they could dedicate their time to more productive and creative tasks to grow your business. This could be following up leads, improving your customer service or any number of other productive tasks.
What are customer complaints?
The reason for a customer complaint can vary hugely. But they all have one thing in common — they needn’t have happened in the first place. For almost any customer complaint, there’s a simple solution a company could have implemented to prevent it happening in the first place.
How to reduce customer complaints
So, what should you do to reduce customer complaints? It begins with conversational intelligence be able to identify patterns in your calls. Once you identify these patterns, you can start identifying the solutions to resolve them. For example, if you have a high amount of complaints about bookings or appointments, you know you need to improve your online services around this aspect of your business.
Companies who review and analyse these service calls and take the action to implement changes to resolve complaints continuously are the companies who outperform their competitors. Not just in regard to the customer experience they provide, but in their business productivity and business profitability too.
3 steps to reduce customer complaints
You can implement a 3 step process to ensure you’re dealing with fewer hidden complaints. It goes like so:
- Listen to your frontline staff
- Utilise customer feedback
- Take action
Step 1: Listen to your frontline staff
By your frontline staff, we mean your employees who are actually dealing with your service calls on a daily basis.
They’re the ones who know your businesses biggest strengths and weaknesses. They know what your customers love and value, and what they don’t.
So many businesses are still stuck in the dated command-and-control hierarchy where new implementations and changes come from the top down. These changes often sound great in principle, but in practice they wreak havoc for customers and frontline staff.
It’s because this business structure simply doesn’t work.
For the best ideas and changes, you need to change the structure to a flat organisation where ideas can flow freely from your frontline staff to the CEO. These are the ideas for customer experience changes that will set you ahead of competitors.
Step 2: Utilise customer feedback
Of course, it’s not just your staff you should listen to, you should also listen to your customers by collecting feedback regularly.
This feedback can be in more structured forms like real time feedback or customer surveys, but it also refers to listening to the hidden desire behind a service call.
For example, if a customer calls you asking for an update, you shouldn’t write it off as just that. What that customer is actually asking for is a process in place to update them regularly, whether that’s through automated texts or emails.
Step 3: Take action
There’s little use in listening to your staff and your customers if you don’t then take action from it.
So many companies are guilty of this. In particular, asking for customer feedback then ignoring anything that isn’t positive.
Companies need to take the various feedback and come up with plans to address it. This means reviewing internal processes and updating as necessary, improving phone skills, updating software to more advanced capabilities, hiring additional staff to reduce wait times or any number of other possibilities.
Regardless of what the resolution of the informal complaint is, management needs to be taking the actions to ensure the feedback isn’t simply forgotten.
Customer complaints cost your business valuable time and resources which could be better put towards more productive tasks.
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