One of the difficult things to accept about running a business is that complaints are an inevitable part of business – after all, it is impossible to please everyone all the time.
Instead of looking at complaints negatively and feeling as though the customer is going out of their way to destroy the business or attack you personally, look at is as a way to improve the business. It’s a simple change in mindset but one that can make a world of difference.
Customers who take the time to make a complaint are doing a business a favour. These customers care enough about your business that they want to communicate their concerns with you and also believe that you’re in a position to solve the problem.
Here are 7 ways customer complaints can benefit you and your business:
- Customer complaints highlight key areas where your product needs improving, your systems need updating or your service needs upgrading.
- Customer complaints can identify staff members who need more training, a refresher course, or closer supervision and helps you identify the need to introduce better business policies and procedures.
- Complaints help motivate and drive staff to improve the work and therefore improve the service culture at the business.
- The things customers complain about may present new business opportunities for increasing revenue, reducing operational costs, solving problems and increasing value.
- Customer complaints (particularly those along the lines of “company A” does it this way) can provide you with valuable competitive information and letting you know what others are doing that you are not doing (yet).
- You learn which customers are willing to speak up and that helps you better understand the business’ customers. These customers can (and should) be invited to participate in customer focus groups, surveys, panels, beta-tests, onsite visits and other research activities.
- Most upset customers simply walk away and then complain about you to their friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family members. Those who take the time to let you know are giving you another chance!
On WOMO, we’ve seen many times where negative feedback handled properly, has led to the business rectifying a major problem and winning over a customer for life.
Customers complaints are inevitable (even for the best businesses), so look at the positives and how the business can benefit from them! Check out our article on 4 Steps To Manage Customer Complaints in Heat of the Moment, but make sure that your business has simple and effective policies in places to handle customer complaints.