Social media and online reviews have given your customers unprecedented access to publicly criticize your company. While this may appear to be a bad thing, hearing the hard truth about your company through customer complaints can actually help you in the long run. What are the most common customer complaints, and what can you learn from them?
According to a Corra study, the leading cause of customer complaints is poor customer service. More than half of survey respondents (52 percent) say they would complain about a service issue, 31.4 percent about a product problem, and 16.6 percent about a policy issue.
Rude customer service representatives, poor store service, uninformed customer service representatives, and slow check-in service are among the specific service issues that motivate complaints.
However, the initial issue a customer has with your product or service is not your only concern. More than half of respondents say they are likely to make a public complaint if a company fails to adequately resolve a product or service problem. In other words, you can make a mistake once, but if you don’t fix it, you’re in big trouble.
What drives customers to make social media complaints or write negative online reviews? Overall, their objectives are altruistic: Almost three-quarters (73.2 percent) say they hope to prevent others from going through the same ordeal. About half of those polled (48.3 percent) want a refund, 39.7 percent want the company to change its policies, and 38.9 percent want an apology. Only 13.5 percent post negative feedback in order to harm a company’s reputation.
Hidden Benefits of Customer Complaints
What is the takeaway for your company? While mistakes are unavoidable, how your customer service team handles them can mean the difference between a customer slamming your company on social media and singing your praises. Customers are far more forgiving than you might believe: After a bad experience, 89 percent of customers say they will give a company another chance. Because customers are rooting for your company to make things right, resolving an issue to a customer’s satisfaction can actually make them more loyal than they were before the problem occurred.
How can you ensure that the customer service at your small business stands out?
- Choose a business phone system that allows you to easily transfer calls between multiple devices to avoid frustrating situations like accidentally hanging up on customers or keeping them on hold indefinitely.
- Provide customers with a number of ways to contact your customer service, ranging from phone calls to live chat and email. Customers will feel more positive about your company if they can contact you in the format they prefer.
- Use unified communications to ensure that you and your team are always available, whether in the office or on the road, and that you have easy access to the information you need to provide the service your customers expect.
- Avoid growing pains by choosing a cloud-based communications system that easily scales up to keep up with your company’s growth.
Learn more from business and read Wasting Money in Your Business? Here’s How to Stop.