No matter how good your customer service might be, you are bound to get customer complaints from time to time. Many customer service representatives dread these emotionally charged situations, which keeps them from responding positively to the customers' views.
While angry customers can be a challenge to manage, they are also providing opportunities. Instead of heading to your competitor down the street, they are offering you a second chance to right a wrong situation. Consider these three reasons why customer complaints boost profits.
Word of Mouth
When a customer gets angry enough with a company to move his business down the street, he usually doesn't do so quietly. He may not tell you, but he will let those around him know about your lack of quality service. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool – for good or bad. If your customer comes to you, rather than complaining to everyone else he knows, you get the opportunity to convert word of mouth advertising from negative to positive. Think about the word of mouth benefits, and it will be easier to work toward his satisfaction.
Open Lines of Communication
A complaining customer is opening up lines of communication with your business. The mere fact that she took the time to come in and complain means that she is not ready to write off your business just yet. In fact, she is providing you with another chance to actively hear her concerns and find a way to deal with them. Think about how much effort it took your customer to come into your business and voice her complaint, and you will be much more willing to see her concern through to a positive resolution.
Building Customer Loyalty
It may be difficult to imagine that angry customer in your face is about to transform into a happy, loyal client, but that is precisely what a well-handled complaint can do. Many complaint customers are regular customers who have used your products or service more than once. If you handle their complaint properly, their satisfaction is likely to increase tenfold. They will tell others about your first-rate service and come back for more themselves, since you have proven you will handle any wrinkle that comes along.
Customer complaints create stress for customer service providers, but that may be because they don't see complaints in the right light. Embrace customer concerns with the knowledge that you can increase your business by handling the complaint adeptly and efficiently, and you will welcome the next unhappy customer that comes along.
- Meredith Estep