There are two certainties in life: death and taxes.
Only, there’s actually another one – customer complaints. You see, no matter how great your business is, you’ll at some stage receive a complaint from a disgruntled customer.
You can’t please everyone, but ignoring customer complaints isn’t an option. In fact, dealing with them should be a core part of your marketing strategy.
The world is watching
Some customer complaints will take place in person or over the phone. If you’re lucky.
More often than not, customer complaints in the digital economy will take place online, and that means they’re available for everyone to see.
With the world watching, it’s vital you demonstrate a consistent, measured, fair and proactive approach to dealing with customer complaints.
Customers can leave reviews for businesses on a number of websites, so make sure you keep an eye on those that relate to your business and jump positively on any negative reviews or complaints you find.
You can turn a bad situation around
Customers complain for a reason. Whatever that reason is, and regardless of whether or not you agree with it, it’s clearly been enough to make them do something about it.
The good news? This is actually great engagement with your company. If someone feels that passionately about something you’ve done as a business, you have the opportunity to turn them around.
Complaints are often a cry for help, so the next time you receive one, treat it as an opportunity to get that person back on side.
You might learn something
Complaints often include key learnings.
They may be difficult to swallow, but if you’re prepared to accept that complaints might help you learn something about your product or service, they become incredibly valuable.
So, swallow your pride, and delve into the complaints you receive. Where can you improve?
This will often require a more detailed, one-to-one conversation with the person who has complained, but that relates to our previous point; you may very well turn a bad situation around if you display this proactive approach.
Reputation management is essential
We can’t stress this enough: your online reputation, and the one you present in the real world, is key to success.
Businesses that last, grow and discover new revenue streams will have spent considerable time on customer service and their reputation management – it’ll be something that’s discussed regularly at board level meetings.
Reputation management extends throughout the entire operation, too. Therefore, when you receive a customer complaint, it’s important for the whole company to take ownership of it and to address the issues raised.
The more obvious your positive approach to complaints is, the more likely you are to create a brand that shines brightly in the eyes of prospective customers.
Don’t be afraid of customer complaints – you’ll receive them, no matter how great your business becomes.
Complaints can actually offer a huge opportunity to win back customers, learn where you can improve, and turn bad situations into revenue-making opportunities.