Actively seeking out complaints about your business may seem like a strange task to many, but it’s a very valuable exercise.
The reason for this is simple, if we manage to deal with the complaint with energy, commitment and panache, then not only are we improving as a business, we are also showing that we listen and adapt to our customers’ needs. Purposely seeking complaints will show that as a business, you realise you will not get it right 100% of the time. We are all human, and mistakes can be made, but it is how we address these negative comments that define us as a business. But, to get these complaints, you really have to hunt hard – us Brits are more inclined to just walk away from a business that’s done something to upset us, than to complain. And do you want your customers walking away without you knowing why? No – you certainly do not!
By handling a complaint brilliantly, your customer will be won over with your levels of customer service and will have a much more positive opinion of your business. This shift in feeling towards your business will be so strong that you will often find them being even more committed to staying on as your customers; they may even start referring friends!
Even in the unlikely event you cannot resolve the problem the customer may have, and they do end up leaving, if you have done everything physically possible to try and help, they will leave with a much higher regard for you and your business.
To get a clearer view of how people view our business here at Sibbalds, we regularly monitor social media sites, alongside customer surveys which we send out to current clients annually. If a problem is brought to our attention, we look to solve this as quickly as possible. We find that 9 times out of 10, the problem is easily sorted, and that stronger relationships have been built with our clients. That said, we do rarely receive any negative feedback, which hopefully is a sign we’re doing a good job!
An extra tip is to never delete any bad feedback left on your Facebook or Twitter from a customer. You will be judged on how you deal with a complaint, much more so than the actual complaint itself, so be careful to address the situation with as much knowledge and sincerity as possible. This again highlights that as a company you take customer feedback seriously, you deal with it efficiently and you are available to contact should a problem arise. Communication once again highly respected and required from consumers.
Actively seeking out complaints – doesn’t quite sound so strange now does it?
*Image adapted from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/3447802751/