Customer complaints management is still not as big a priority as it should be – despite the constant reminders at how important this aspect of business is when dealing with customers. While some companies simply don’t bother putting any systems in place at all, some end up doing more harm than good by making poor decisions on how to handle complaints. As internet and phone connectivity continues to grow, customers are finding more ways to voice their concerns than ever. Making a mistake when dealing with a less-than-happy customer does not only put you at risk of losing a potential sale though – it can cost your bottom line a good deal too. Here are some of the most costly mistakes you can make with a badly planned or poorly executed customer complaints management strategy…
The Cost of Poor Customer Complaints Management
If you thought that complaints management was simply a case of pacifying those who are making a fuss, it’s time to have a reality check once and for all. This is no time for assumptions – especially with your profits are at risk. Before you do any more damage, take stock of your current efforts to see if you are making any of these mistakes…
- Lack of visibility in operations and strategy. If your visibility is not there, it is much easier to avoid accountability. This includes your internal processes, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and your customer relations history and statistics. Employees who do not have access to basic information are unable to make informed decisions. Instead, they are forced to use their gut feel (something that is never enough in delicate complaint situations).
- No company-wide approach to complaints. One of the quickest ways to get an already upset customer even more upset is not having a consolidated approach to complaints. If no one knows what is going on with others in the customer service team, how can issues be tracked and resolved properly? Complaints should be handled from one single source, with company-wide processes in place to keep things organised.
- Lack of KPIs for evaluating the way that complaints are handled. How do you know whether or not your customer service team is handling complaints effectively? Are all agents on the same page? Are there any issues in the resolution process that you are not aware of? Without KPIs in place, you are shooting in the dark, and won’t be able to track trends or performance.
- Forgetting social customer service. If your customer complaints management strategies do not include social media, you are in for a rather unsettling surprise. Twitter and Facebook have become the de facto way for customers to vent their issues (real or otherwise). Over-looking these channels can do major harm to your reputation and leave you with a PR nightmare in the process.
Of course, we could also add that not having any thought to customer complaints management is another mistake… but that should be one mistake you are at least not making (we hope so anyway).