If your business works hard to deliver quality goods and services, the thought of receiving a complaint can have negative connotations. I want to convince you otherwise.
A direct complaint should be viewed as constructive feedback. All business owners are encouraged to undertake regular market research and here is a customer offering you their point of view.
A complaint offers your business the opportunity to build its reputation. If you handle the complaint professionally, the customer feels very positive about the experience and your brand. In a 3 year Consumer Action Monitoring (CAM) survey, 50% of respondents stated that they had a greater respect for a company that handled their complaint effectively.
For this reason, I’m keen to support businesses to effectively manage their complaints procedure. My training highlights why direct complaints should be welcomed. This includes the opportunity to investigate the problem:
If you still feel that it is better not to receive complaints, the good news is that only 1 in 26 dissatisfied customers make a direct complaint. The bad news is that the other 25 will simply not do business with you again. No second chance.
What’s more, they will share the experience with an average of 15 people. This makes it clear that a small problem, which might have easily been resolved, can escalate to a lot of people viewing your business negatively, without you even being aware.
Being Equipped to Effectively Handle Customer Complaints
If you prefer a problem solving approach, where your business has the chance to prove its worth, a customer complaints policy is important. Your policy should detail how your business will:
A Customer Complaints Policy is not Enough
A clear policy is one thing, but it is only effective if it is put into action. This means that every member of your team needs to fully understand it, be trained and feel supported when delivering it. A complaint can be directed at anyone and the culture of your company should ensure that a competent and consistent response in delivered by all.
In addition, your company should be approachable. Customers should feel confident of being listened to and the situation dealt with professionally. This point is clearly made in the NHS Complaints Procedure:
"What is important is that no matter how efficiently or effectively designed a complaints process, policy or guideline is, it will make no difference if the environment and culture discourages people from making a complaint or raising a concern in the first place"
Why do we need a Complaints Handling Policy?
If your business hasn’t formalised an accepted means of responding to complaints, the result can be: