Client feedback is essential to all companies; not only because you can gather valuable customer insight, but because it allows you to identify product or service failures.
There is no understating it; complaints handling is an invaluable opportunity for your organization to identify areas of improvement. Allowing such expressions of dissatisfaction to be met with positive responses and actioning improvements is crucial to any successful business.
So what are three simple reasons why complaints management is important?
1. You don’t always know what’s going on
It’s simple. Our perceptions are always influenced by our own biases. For one reason or another, we tend to reassure ourselves when our present situation offers uncertainties. It’s not hard to see why. After all, self-preservation is a natural instinct.
In the same way, businesses are often reluctant to retrace their steps or perform introspection to understand what happened and why. For this reason, it is important to properly manage complaints in order to make it easier to identify root causes.
In the grand scheme of things it's common for customers to not provide feedback. You’re then left to wonder whether your products and services are being received positively or negatively.
Truth is, ignoring your customer’s perception doesn’t help anyone. You don’t know if your company’s success is just temporary or long lasting. Knowing such a valuable piece of information comes from the opportunity you provide your customers to express their opinions and experiences. So give your customers the opportunity to rant, complain, congratulate, praise and suggest ways to improve. You will be pleasantly surprised how invaluable this feedback will become if you just LISTEN with a focus on learning and improving.
2. There’s always room for improvement
Once you’ve made the decision to listen, it is time to accept the fact that you’ll always have room for improvement. Your business is not perfect. One day you might find yourself stuck in a situation where you have to make an ethical, managerial or business decision you never thought you’d have to make. Industry practices are changing every day and you’ve got to keep up.
Proper complaint management systems use monitoring tools such as Key Performance Indicators and Quality Alarms to make sure that you are always aware of product or service failures. The modern complaints management system takes the guess work out of knowing where to look to find the root cause, all that’s left is tracking down the root cause and then taking the necessary measures to improve.
For more information about the more technical parts of Complaints Management, check out Why You Should Be Using Quality Alarms.
3. You should always be one step ahead
Lastly, a modern Complaints Management system gives you a means of forming trust between yourself and your customer. Your competitors will find it difficult to get your customers to defect if there is a strong relationship between you.
This translates directly to a competitive edge. Knowing how your customer thinks gives you the means to better service them--so that you don’t lose them to competitors.
Photo via nextnetpartners.com
To read more about this principle, check out the How-to Guide: How To Turn Your Customer Complaints Into Continuous Improvement For A Competitive Edge .
The use of technology, the internet and the proliferation of social media has changed the way we do business, consume goods and services, play and communicate. Complaints Management systems are not immune to this rule; in fact, many customers today prefer to turn to channels such as Facebook or Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction instead of sending a letter or calling a call centre and this trend is continuing at an alarming rate.
You have to ensure your complaints management system can take full advantage of these new communications channels.
So by listening with the intent to improve and then establishing a positive customer relationship, you will gain a competitive advantage. The next step is to maintain that position through a modern complaints management system that is designed to take full advantage of new and emerging technologies and changes in customer’s behaviour.
All in all, complaints management truly is an essential component of customer service and business success. Not only is it the means to gather valuable customer insight, it also helps your company progress to improvements that lead to reduced costs, increased profitability and increased customer satisfaction.