Why You Must Resolve Customer Complaints

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on December 29th, 2012

Recently, issues of customer service have been a hot topic in our Auto Upholstery Forum – with trimmers and suppliers sharing their thoughts on what constitutes good or bad service.

Given the popularity of this subject, we thought it would be helpful to share an interesting article recently published by Performance Loyalty Group – a consultancy  that helps businesses gain and retain customers – titled, “Why You Must Have a System for Resolving Customer Complaints”.

Author Mike Gorun starts off by citing a recent study by Tempkin Group that found it takes about five customers giving positive referrals for your business to gain one new customer, but only two dissatisfied customers speaking badly about your business for you to lose one.

You do the math…that means it’s twice as important to ensure that you don’t have unhappy customers than it is to maintain good relations with your happy customers. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on the latter—of course you should. But it also means that if you don’t have a system that empowers or motivates your employees to solve customer problems, you may be feeling the negative impact on your business.

Most people don’t set out to dislike or become a detractor for a business. The reason this happens is when a satisfied or neutral customer encounters a problem or an issue that isn’t resolved. At that point there is an immediate decline in loyalty. However, if the problem is handled well, the customer’s loyalty increases above his or her original loyalty level.

The biggest determining factor as to whether a customer becomes or remains loyal after a problem is whether that problem has been resolved. Unfortunately, many times employees believe that they are resolving a problem, when in fact they aren’t. […]

To ensure that your customers feel like their problems are resolved in a satisfactory manner, be sure that every employee follows an established process for customer complaint resolution. These steps should include acknowledging the problem, taking down facts, taking ownership of the problem, ensuring the customer receives a resolution to the problem and following up to make sure they are happy with the resolution. If one or more employees don’t follow this process, make sure there are consequences so that next time they will be motivated to follow the process. [more]

In a highly competitive market place, it’s vital that businesses like ours go the extra mile to ensure that customers are satisfied. Surely, not every customer is going to be easy to deal with – in fact, some are just plain difficult. But customers like these should be few and far between. Unless, of course, you’re the one doing something wrong.

We want to hear from you. Use the comments section below to share with us any tips or advice that you have for maintaining strong customer service. Also, feel free to relay any positive or negative experiences you’ve had with customers or businesses – and what you did about it.

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