What are the 5 benefits of customer complaints?
The sad fact is only about 4% of dissatisfied customers complain. If a customer does not complain and has an issue that is not resolved, they are likely to go to the competition. The worst part about this is that is the organization isn't even aware that there was an issue.
The sad fact is only about 4% of dissatisfied customers complain. If a customer does not complain and has an issue that is not resolved, they are likely to go to the competition. The worst part about this is that is the organization isn't even aware that there was an issue. The other sad fact is a dissatisfied customer is more comfortable telling their friends about a bad experience that the organization. Now you have a situation where someone had a bad experience, didn't tell you, won't be coming back but now all their friends know. This is why we want to encourage customers to complain and provide an easy way for them to provide feedback.
It is inevitable that organizations that provide products or services will get complaints. The reason for this is sometimes a process breaks down and results in an unanticipated event that either created a faulty product or service.
Sometimes people complain because as organizations we are always trying to raise the bar and when the bar is raised it creates a new level of expectations for products and services. There is an old saying that yesterday's luxuries are today's necessities. An example of this would be in the 1950s air conditioning on a vehicle was either non-existent or rare. Think about that in today's environment. The only way to get a vehicle without air conditioning would probably be to special order it and I would guess that it would be an expensive request. In the 1950s this would not be something to complain about but today it would be.
Sometimes customers complain because their "frame of reference" does not necessarily line up with the product or service that is offered. An example of this would be someone who has only had exposure to five star hotels and then they might stay at a two star hotel. They have expectations that may not be met at a less prestigious hotel which could possibly trigger a complaint.
So what are the 5 benefits of customer complaints?
1. Complaints identity faulty products or processes.
The sad fact is that even with the best checks and balances, sometimes faulty products make it to the customer or some faulty processes are put in place. If customers do not make organizations aware of the faulty product or process they will not be able to fix this and other potential products that may have the same problem. This is particularly true, as an example, if you have a rude employee answering the phone. Most people would not bother to spend the energy to notify an organization of rude employees and if a manager is not aware of it one employee could potentially be chasing lots of customers away.
2. Complaints challenge the status quo.
Customer complaints challenge the way things are done within an organization. Organizations can get stuck without solid business goals and complaints can help identify ways to take an organization to a higher level of performance. Complaints can be a reality check for organizations and help them identify ways to grow, develop and improve.
3. Complaints test internal systems and processes.
Successful organizations have very structured and fine-tuned complaint management processes. The only way to test those processes is to use them. A complaint and the management oversight of how that complaint is handled is a test to the system. It can test the customer service skills of trained employees and can help identify areas that may be weak for future training.
4. Complaints are beneficial.
Customer complaints should be viewed as beneficial to the organization and an opportunity to improve what you do and how you do it. If complaints are viewed as positive and beneficial, they will be welcomed with open arms and embraced. They will be studied and taken into consideration for future improvements or enhancements to the organization.
5. Complaints provide the opportunity for service recovery.
Complaints offer the opportunity to perform service recovery for the customer and show them how good your service really is. An effective service recovery program can transition someone from being a sceptical user into a loyal customer who is happier than if they had not had an issue in the first place.
Based on article in Thriving Small Business
Finally, we all need to shift our thinking about customer complaints as something that where possible should be avoided, but like the occasional friend who comes to dinner uninvited, a chance to show how great your hospitality really is.