Why businesses should encourage ‘complaints’

It may seem a strange proposition – that a healthy, growing business needs to actively encourage customers to ring in to complain – but here are just a few reasons why that kind of feedback is vital.

Protect your reputation online

People are quick to speak up when they are not happy with a product or service. And they will no doubt chat to friends about it. But these days there are many other ways to voice dissatisfaction. Social media in particular offers opportunities to have a good “moan” but there are also abundant review sites and consumer forums on the internet.

Encouraging and facilitating customers to ring in to a helpline to air their views is far better for your business than trying to trace or tackle negative comments made online. Well placed negative comments online can dent your reputation for a long time.

Provide the personal touch

Of course, you could just provide a customer feedback form on your website or encourage people to email their complaints, but by far the most effective method is to provide a professional telephone answering service at a call centre that represents your business.

It’s believed that around 80% of customer “complaints” can be solved quickly and easily when they can speak to a responsive and empathetic professional customer services representative. Customers respond far better if they feel someone is listening to their issues and concerns. They may well accept a rational explanation or helpful guidance, and take the complaint no further.

Complaints are negative or not important, right?

Companies who believe that the majority of their customers are happy, and that providing a reactive telephone answering service would just give the “whingers” an opportunity to surface, are missing one of the most vital pieces of feedback any organisation needs – how can we do better?

No company can afford to stand still, or develop their business plans “in the dark”. Collecting and collating customer feedback is vital. Some would argue that it’s the negative stuff that can best shape future development, increasing the opportunities to find ways to attract new customers.

Handling complaints properly builds loyalty

It costs far less to hold on to existing customers than it does to attract new ones. Providing a customer service helpline makes customers feel valued, and encourages them to speak to you about any problems they encounter. This in turn makes it far more likely they will buy from you again.

In fact, a well-handled complaint can turn a dissatisfied customer into an advocate, singing your praises because your company took the time and trouble to help them, and you acknowledged a problem and sorted it out.

Outsourcing customer service makes it easier to deal with complaints

Can you imagine if you get the great reputation of being a company that listens to its customers’ feedback, providing a human being to talk to, 24/7? That could be big kudos in this highly competitive world.

By outsourcing customer service, and providing a highly professional and empathetic response to complaints – you could well be investing in your future as a company. You show what a responsible, warm and competent organisation you are, and that has got to be healthier than overlooking a large pool of unhappy customers that have no opportunity to voice their views.