If There’s a Problem, You Want Your Customers to Complain

Upon reading the title of this article, you may be tilting your head to the side and giving it a good scratch. “Why would I want my customers to complain at all?” you may be asking yourself. Well, this fact is simply inevitable. Along the customer service journey, your customers will eventually have something to say, and it probably won’t be pretty. Some will be fair in their judgment while others may be hasty (every service representative is all too familiar with customers who can never be appeased, no matter what is done to help). Customer complaints are simply a pit stop in the race; they’re a phase in the customer service lifecycle, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent that.

So, it’s time to take lemons and turn them into delicious lemonade. Did you know that 96 percent of unhappy customers don’t voice their concerns or complaints? Sounds great, right? Not until you hear that out of that 96 percent, a whopping 91 percent of those customers will choose to leave the company and never come back. So instead of sending a complaint, research shows that the majority of your customers will simply drop all loyalty they have to you and go off with your competition.

But let’s not forget that they are sending this message to someone. An unsatisfied customer is known to tell between nine and 15 people about their customer experience, while 13 percent of dissatisfied customers divulge to more than 20 people about how they were disappointed with your service. Considering how 90 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertisements, you will rapidly spiral downward if you’re not willing to let your customers bring their complaints to you for quick and efficient resolution.

For the call center manager, this means investing in call center software that supports communication through every viable channel. This means if a customer tweets at your company’s handle, you can queue the customer based on the mention of your company’s Twitter account. This means that you can initiate a Web chat session with a customer who is frustratingly navigating through your website after a bad service experience. You can innovatively prompt your customers to let you know how they really feel before they let their social circle know first. This way, you continually improve your customer service and strengthen customer retention.

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