It’s important to keep your customers happy, but that is easier said than done. While customer complaints are an inevitable part of running a business, you can be proactive and actually reduce the amount of complaints you get. This helps your business to increase customer satisfaction and be more productive.
Implement a Customer Service Strategy
One of the best strategies to reduce customer complaints is to have a plan and get everyone on board. Create a customer service strategy and ensure that every level of your business is aware of it. A customer service strategy outlines what the goals are for dealing with customers and how you plan to achieve them.
For example, if you want to increase customer loyalty, then you can work on developing a loyalty incentive plan. This may include offering customers a tiered discount on repeat purchases. Many businesses also use points cards to increase loyalty, where customers get points on each purchase to redeem after they reach a certain level.
Equip Employees With Training and Tools
Reducing customer complaints can be achieved by ensuring your customer-facing employees have the training they need to do their jobs effectively. Your customer service representatives need to have deep product knowledge so they can answer any questions the customer has.
They should also be trained on dealing with customer complaints about quality, price and time-related issues. When your employees are well trained, you will see a reduction in customer complaints because the staff will be able to anticipate and diffuse negative situations before they happen.
Handling customer complaints about employees can be taken care of with the proper tools as well. Give your team communication platforms or other solutions that can make their job more efficient. For example, having a place to log and analyze customer complaints will help your business to see trends and act on them. Communication tools like messaging solutions and project management software ensure that all team members are updated about urgent concerns.
Keep Your Promises
A sure-fire way to reduce customer complaints is to set expectations clearly. If your marketing materials say that your product helps relieve pain, then make sure your product actually does what it says. This way, you can decrease the number of product-related complaints.
Similarly, if you say the food order will be delivered in under 30 minutes, then it’s important to make that happen every time. When you set clear expectations and meet them, you can limit the amount of customer complaints. On the other hand, if you don’t deliver on an expectation, you’re bound to have some unhappy customers.
Take Customer Feedback Into Account
Learning from your mistakes is an important part of running a successful business. Track your customer complaints carefully so you can ascertain what kinds of complaints you’re seeing most often.
If you notice a trend that customers complain about a particular staff member over others, then you will need to ensure that employee has the training he needs to do his job. If you’re still seeing complaints, then you may need to take additional steps to ensure your customers are getting the best service possible.
Develop an Action Plan for Customer Complaints
It’s also important to have a clear process for how to deal with complaints. Do all your employees know what to do when they hear a customer complaint? Train employees on how to respond and what next steps to take. You can reduce the amount of complaints by showing customers that you take them seriously and respect their opinions.
Your employees can let the customer know that they are logging the complaint and will send it to the manager immediately. Have the manager call the customer if needed to discuss the issue and rectify it when possible.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.