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August 29, 2016

Guest Post :: Why Customer Complaints are an Opportunity to Cherish (not fear)

By: Liz Burton

If you work in customer service or a customer-facing role, you probably wince at the thought of having to handle an irate customer as they aggressively list numerous problems with your service. Feeling exasperated is understandable, but why not consider adopting a more positive attitude to the situation?

Most people feel tense when they have to deal with a complaint because they perceive it as an attack. That’s usually not the case. Customers’ complaints are typically fueled by anger, sure, but what caused the anger to develop in the first place?

More often than not, there’s a real issue with your service or product that has prompted the complaint. Although the customer’s not reacting calmly – as they probably should to make things easier on you – they are reacting truthfully.

This is why complaints should be cherished, not feared: responding positively to a truthful complaint will yield numerous benefits.

  1. Without the complaint, you might never have discovered the issue.

Your business should continuously look for areas to improve its service, and when a customer brings forward a complaint, you’ve just received information about how to better your service for free! You haven’t spent time and resources tracking the problem yourself: all you have to do now is work on fixing it.

  1. You show the customer that your customer service is excellent.

People who are angry and want assistance are looking to have their feelings validated, so really listening and taking on board everything they say will prove to them your customer service offers exactly that. You demonstrate how efficient and effective you are at responding to issues, and that will impress and please them.

  1. You will develop brand loyalty by making customers feel valued.

If you reject a customer’s complaint, they’d view your brand negatively and simply go to the competition. But by accepting their complaint, you make them feel like their voice is heard: that you value them. They’ll perceive your brand positively and be willing – happy even – to return and use your services or buy your products again.

  1. The customer becomes a brand advocate.

If a customer makes a complaint, chances are they’ll tell their friends and family about it. Handling a complaint tactfully and amiably ensures the end of the story they tell is positive and doesn’t put off the listeners from using your brand.

If others hear your business dealt with a complaint effectively, they’ll remember you – maybe even tell other people, who tell other people, and so on. All those who hear positive comments will be happy to use your services in the future.

Not everyone has a natural talent for handling complaints, but there’s nothing stopping you from learning so you can reap the benefits.

You should regularly receive training to improve your knowledge and abilities to react diplomatically to complaints. For example, your employer might organize customer role-plays, encourage you to take a customer service quiz, or send you to a different branch to expose you to different types of customers and the complaints that have been put in.

This will help you develop a positive attitude towards receiving them and build up your experience of handling complaints.

Author Bio: Liz Burton is a Content Author at High Speed Training: a UK-based online learning provider that offer training courses, including Customer Service Skills for both Retail and Health and Social Care sectors. High Speed Training’s blog – the Hub – has a vast array of articles pertaining to numerous subjects, including customer service skills.

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