Customer dissatisfaction is never a nice occurrence for any business. Nonetheless, it does exist, and within some industries, is growing at an alarming rate.
Customers are increasingly demanding, and expect a great deal more than we may recall from previous years.
With all this angst out there, it makes sense for organizations to have the confidence to handle complaints. There is another side, however. Are you able to learn from your mistakes?
As a busy manager, you may be gritting your teeth at this concept, but this reaction should prompt you to ask yourself one question.
Is it possible to turn every complaint into a positive, information gathering experience?
In terms of quality assurance, it is essential your answer be a resounding, yes.
Why Are Complaints Important?
Feedback is essential. It really does clarify what may be going on, adversely or otherwise, with your product or service. It is essential that business today appreciate negative comments. Cunningly disguised as they may be, they can offer you the gift of opportunity.So what do you do?
Hold on. This will not be an easy path.
Having procedures for complaint handling is the first step. It means you are not ignoring the realities.
The next step is to take action, and be quick about it.
Imagine connecting with a dissatisfied customer within 10 minutes of receiving their complaint. Apart from the shocked response from the person complaining, the information remains fresh in his or her mind, and is not embellished by other’s opinions, or intensified by allowing the customer to stew on the occurrence.
No one expects an immediate response. This is where you can rise above your competitors.
Nip it in the bud, my friends. You will be doing all parties a favor.
The benefits, from an analytical standpoint, can be invaluable for any organization. Information received can assist in shining a light on customer service and product problems not previously known.
A good complaints handling system can add value to your organization by simply having all records and details in one place. With an inherent ability for initial contacts to be recorded, all conversations and identifiers can then be logged within the same incident identifier.
Responses are noted and solutions created.
In addition, a fully integrated system can identify recurring issues by this simple collation of information. It can do most of the hard work for you.
Competently dealing with complaints, whether initiated through a phone call or a generated survey, will give you an insight, which can greatly assist in turning around the perception of your organization.
Customers love to know their experiences are important. Enhancing your reputation will grow your bottom line.
What About Me?
When we picture a customer, it is usually one of dollars waved around, in anticipation of acquiring a much-wanted product. There remains, however, another type of customer often forgotten, and sometimes mistreated.
The internal customer can be just as important to your quality controls as the one camping outside your business the day before a massive sale.
Who knows best when it comes to potential issues and aggravators on a day-to-day level?
Build staff commentary into your quality assurance system, and a world of information will be yours.
Brave New World
We are all consumers and most of us have experienced a poor quality product, and questionable service.
Being on the pointy end of an angry customer it is never easy, especially as a business owner.
There is a certain amount of confidence involved in facing a disgruntled customer. You never know what you will find.
Approaching a complaint means running the risk of getting the blame for everything from the price of bread to the fact they were born under the wrong astrological sign.
Be prepared. Attitude is everything.
In a perfect world, we all want our businesses to run smoothly, and that all of our customers, both internal and external, be 100 percent satisfied. As unreachable as it sounds, this can be a realistic goal for any organization.
One thing is certain. The days of rolling your eyes at a dissatisfied customer are over. Indifference is a nail in the coffin for all business, regardless of industry.
For continued growth, a sense of accomplishment, and to assure the quality of our goods and services, we need intelligent systems, married with confidence in ourselves, to turn a frown upside down.
Image: NEC Corporation of America