Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Embrace Customer Complaints

(1:02) One of the best ways to improve your customer service is to listen to, encourage, and embrace customer complaints. While we all love to hear compliments, it's customer complaints that can lead to the greatest growth.

(0:54) I ran across a document from the Federal Government looking at how to better resolve their own customer complaints. I found their points excellent and completely relevant to the private sector as well. They looked at "best-in-business" for customer service to determine why they succeeded and how they could do the same. Here is a summary of what they found.

(0:46) 1. Make it easy for your customers to complain and your customers will make it easy for you to improve.
The best-in-business want their customers to complain. Informed customers know how your services should work. If things are not working, customers are the first to know. The best-in-business use customer feedback to identify and resolve root causes of dissatisfaction and to change their services to ensure that the customer will be quickly satisfied.

(0:35) 2. Respond to complaints quickly and courteously with common sense and you will improve customer loyalty.
They found that customers reward companies that quickly solve problems by remaining loyal customers. A speedy response can add 25 percent to customer loyalty.

(0:27) 3. Resolve complaints on the first contact to save money and to build customer confidence.
A call back which involves two or more employees costs more than a call that is handled right the first time. The research confirms that resolving a complaint on the first contact reduced the cost by at least 50 percent.

(0:20) 4. Technology utilization is critical in complaint handling systems.
Use your computers to develop a data base of complaints. See if you find a trend. Then fix it! The best-in-business electronically compiled customer complaint information and presented it to everyone, including management, so that the organization could better align services and products to meet customer expectations.

(0:10) Think of complaints as those gems that help you improve. Make it easy for customers to complain, even encourage complaints, and then bend over backwards to set things right and make changes so that future customers do not experience similar problems.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.