Customer Complaints Include Meaningful Feedback
Summary: Orange County SEO discusses complaints and how you can use them as a business improvement tactic.
The fact that we are not perfect is not an excuse for mistakes but a realistic approach to life. It is very important that companies realize that the way they handle customer complaints is as much a factor in continued success as the way they handle their business in the first place.
It Is A Competitive World
It is a competitive world out there, and your reaction to complaints by your customers can have a direct effect on their decision to continue to use your services or buy your goods. It pays to remember that customers are constantly judging business performance, not only on the quality of goods or services but also how the company handles the problem to ensure that nothing similar happens again. In fact, customers tend to value the successful handling of problems even more than they do initial good service.
"Service recovery" is the term applied to fixing problems with service. How you handle service recovery directly influences the level of your customers' satisfaction and whether they will give you their repeat business.
Too often, however, companies simply allow staff to deal with service recovery in a rather helter-skelter manner. There is not a service recovery standardization plan in place so that everyone knows what to do and so that all complaints are handled uniformly. Even when there is a plan in place, companies assume that an apology and some minor compensation are all that is necessary to satisfy complaining customers. The fact is that what businesses should be doing is considering how to resolve complaints so that they address the underlying issues that led to the need for service recovery to begin with.
The Three Stakeholders in Service Recovery
Any complaint situation involves three stakeholders: the customer, the manager or owner and the employee who deals with the complaint. All of these stakeholders must be integrated in order to address and fix service problems.
Tensions often run high between these various stakeholder groups. Customers can be upset if they feel that the employees do not take their complaints seriously. Employees can begin to see both customers and managers as the enemy. Managers may feel that employees are not doing their jobs, leading to the need for damage control. Recent studies indicate that fewer than eight percent of companies successfully integrate the three stakeholder groups in resolving complaints.
What do you need to address in order to successfully integrate your stakeholder groups? The first thing you must consider is fairness. This is usually the customer's biggest concern. Customers do not want a token reimbursement; instead, they want reassurance that the problem will not occur again.
Customers are more pleased with successful recovery than successful service but they also have more tolerance for poor service than for poor recovery. One service recovery failure is dangerous, and two failures to fix a problem will likely result in a customer who is lost forever. Customers are more upset by failed recovery because they feel the problem is likely to recur again. This means that learning from failure is more important the just fixing the problem. However, most companies simply do not utilize the data from their failures that would allow them to make necessary changes.
Many companies find that when they create a specialized department to handle customer complaints that the department becomes isolated. Therefore, a better approach may be to train everyone to handle complaints and share the data with everyone else so that all employees become stakeholders in the recovery process.