5 Tips for Handling Customer Complaints in the Contact Center

In customer experience, complaints are an unfortunate but inevitable part of the process. Without some negative feedback from time to time, your brand may not always recognize where improvements can be made and what your customers are looking for. For this reason, it’s important to embrace complaints as an opportunity to learn more about your brand and how to engage your customers for long-term loyalty. Here are five tips for handling customer complaints effectively in the contact center.

Do a global assessment of customer inquiries

Take an in-depth look at all the customer inquiries coming in to the contact center to determine which ones are actually complaints. It’s possible that not all incoming calls or emails, for example, are necessarily concerns with the brand and may need to be labeled properly. Listen to a large sample of calls, check a sizeable batch of emails, and assess a sample of customer inquiries on all other channels to better identify, label, and eventually handle the true complaints coming in.

Communicate the handling process to your customers

When customers complain, they are not only telling you they are unhappy but also giving your brand a chance to set things right. Since your customers trust you to take care of their issue, do everything you can to justify their confidence. Let them know exactly what to expect during the handling process, from the name of the agent handling the case to all the necessary contact information and the timeline of the process. Being accountable eases tensions, may prevent too many exchanges, and shows customers you value their time.

Discuss complaints across departments

An essential part of solving issues is making sure all departments share their inquiries and discuss solutions as a team. Managers should be aware of common complaints and work to improve training methods with individual agents and improve processes when necessary. In addition, customer issues should be presented to corporate members as a means of helping the brand improve overall.

Roleplay the handling process and revise call scripts as a team

The best way for agents to understand what they could be doing better is to put them in the customer’s shoes. Take actual cases and roleplay them during meetings and training sessions, encouraging an open discussion of what could be improved. Call scripts may be revised as a team, and agents can also be encouraged to add their personal touch by writing their own individual versions of responses to common questions. Managers may also authorize agents to issue immediate vouchers when a customer makes a complaint, showing goodwill on behalf of the brand and earning immediate customer trust.

Be accessible to your customers

When customers need to vent, make it easy for them to do so. In addition to providing detailed contact information on the brand website, designate social media channels or an email address specifically for customer concerns. For example, make it easy for customers to call toll-free, tweet a concern to a complaints department, or send an email or Facebook message to the appropriate department. This makes it easy for your contact center to organize complaints and handle them appropriately while empowering your customers with better service.Customer complaints are vital to helping your brand grow and improve. With the right organization, a bit of timeliness, and a personal touch, even frustrated customers can be turned into brand advocates.

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