Nimrah Ghazanfar (July 29, 2015)
There are several scenarios where customer complaints can occur. A customer might not be happy with a product or service, there might be a delay in the delivery of an item or the customer might have had the wrong product delivered. Identification of the problem and effective resolution which satisfies the customer is part of successful complaint management. For businesses, it is essential to streamline the complaint management system in order to improve customer experience. There are a few ways through which companies can ensure better results, some are listed below.
It is important for organizations to have a team dedicated towards complaint management. For customers who are getting in touch with a company, the process must be simple and easy for them to register their compliant. Being transferred from one department to another will further add to the grievance of an already angry and frustrated customer. By having a responsive complaint department, customers would be able to register their complaints immediately and it would be the responsibility of that department to ensure that the problem is resolved.
The team in charge of handling complaints should also be equipped to make important decisions while resolving problems and should be empowered to take actions according to the need of the hour. Every complaint should be properly documented and the customer must be kept in the loop on the progress. A report should be issued once the problem has been resolved which investigates the reason for the issue which occurred and lists all necessary steps and actions which were taken towards resolution.
Customers have to sometimes wait for hours at end when trying to register a complaint. This is not only time consuming but also frustrating. According to an American Express Survey conducted in 2011, 67% of customers hang up without even registering a complaint because it takes too long. Registering a complaint should be easy and efficient so that the customer is satisfied that something is being done about his/her problem. Subscribing different numbers for different kinds of complaints is an ideal way to go about it, this way people will be directed towards the right individual for help. It would also be a good idea to allow customers to register complaints through various channels such as Facebook, Twitter, the website of the company, text message, etc. Phone calls can take time and being active on various channels will distribute the work and make it easier for customers to register complaints.
The use of empathy is important for customer service representatives when a distressed customer approaches them with a complaint. A CSR should actively listen, empathize with the customer and then explain to the customer what will be done to rectify the mistake. It is essential that the representative understands what the customer is saying so that a necessary course of action is designed accordingly. Documentation and making notes of the conversation are important for the process.
Communication between the customer and the representative should remain transparent at all times. Not giving the complete information or promising what cannot actually be done in order to momentarily pacify an angry customer will eventually lead to distrust and create a negative image of the company. The representative should provide constant updates to the customer so that he/she is not left waiting while the company reviews and fixes the problem. Be honest in all your dealings with the customers to ensure customer loyalty.
Companies can create manuals based on errors which have occurred in the past to provide on hand solutions to their customers. Keeping a record of the technical faults will not only allow companies to improve areas where they have been struggling, it would also equip them with a go-to guide when it comes to solving customers’ problems. Representatives can easily look up how an issue was rectified in the past with such documentation. Such manuals can save time and speed up the processes.
Service failures do occur, what eventually matters is how you deal with that problem. You can offer refunds, discount vouchers for future purchases or give customers free of charge service for a time period. While managing and solving complaints, it is also necessary that the company should come up with different solutions and strategies to please unhappy customers.
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