Why You Should Encourage Your Customers to Complain
When a customer complains, it gives you the opportunity to “make it right” and strengthen customer loyalty. Each customer’s unique personality will dictate how they react to a situation and how they choose to deal with a complaint. Below are five survey results that help to explain how most customers will address complaints.
- 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain. 91% of those customers will simply leave and never come back. – 1st Financial Training Services
- 80% of your customers will vent their anger and frustration to at least 10 people and 20% will vent to 20 additional people. – University of Nottingham
- “When customers share their story, they’re not just sharing pain points. They’re actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better.” -Kristin Smaby, “Being Human is Good Business”
- “The lesson for managers is to reply to every customer service comment online, even the proverbial “I’ll never fly your airline again!” A mere acknowledgement of the customer’s problem can defuse initial frustration and put the customer back on the road to loyalty. Instead of the customer seeing the company as the enemy, a sympathetic response can reorient the situation so that the customer now feels that the company is on his or her side.”-“How Customer Service Can Turn Angry Customers Into Loyal Ones” Harvard Business Review 2018
- Customers who have never had a problem with a company are less loyal than those who have had a problem satisfactorily resolved.”-HubSpot
Remember, the more proactive a company is about inquiring into a customer’s experience, the more honest feedback they will receive. The company’s goal should be to listen and address the feedback received.
Five Things to Consider Before You Open Pandora’s Box
- Every Customer is Uniquely Wired
When a customer complains, they want more than one channel of communication to choose from. As of now, most companies offer up to nine channels for customers to use to communicate and that number is expected to increase in coming years. Some examples of channels of communication include text, chat, email and phone.
- You Need the Whole Story
Encourage your customers to provide the entire story, regardless of your title or position in your company. Listen allow them to tell you the complete and honest story. This can only benefit your business and employees.
- Bad News Travels Faster Than Good News
About 84% of adults communicate about a good or bad experience face-to-face while only 35% of adults communicate through social media channels. The more face-to-face interaction you can have with your customers, the better able you will be able to catch them before they reach the point of complaining on social media.
- Their Complaint Will Improve Their Memory
Your customers will not only remember the complaint itself, but the fact that you were able to resolve it. Encouraging your customers to complain will enable them to remember your company as one who is focused on a solution.
- Your Employees Will Be More Focused on the Customer
When you encourage the customers to complain, your employees will naturally become more focused on the customer. Get to know your residents so they will feel comfortable enough to let you know when they have an issue. This will ensure you have the opportunity to resolve it.
Five Steps to Take When Faced with a Complaint
- Let them vent.
Allow your residents the opportunity to vent with you and let them tell you the whole story. Try to not take it personally; they are simply telling you their view of what took place. It can be difficult not to get defensive, especially if they mention your name, so take a deep breath and stay in listening mode.
- Express empathy.
This allows you to have compassion for their situation without necessarily agreeing with them. You can then ask them if they would like to add anything else before you begin to focus on a resolution.
- Seek out a resolution.
Let them know you appreciate hearing from them and assure them you are there to resolve their issue. Then it is your job to begin working towards a resolution.
- Thank the customer for the complaint.
This step is simple – thank the customer for sharing their complaint. Let them know you will be seeking to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
- Follow up with progress.
This shows you are serious about resolving the complaint. Your resident will be more likely to do business with your company again if you resolve their complaint promptly.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Encouraging your customers to complain can be your best greatest business asset. Train your employees to have empathy and listen to your residents. It will make a world of difference to your residents and they will be raving fans moving forward.