In 2020, 66% of customers were surveyed by a company complaining about experiencing a problem with a service or product. The customers who complained weren’t satisfied with the result, and 58% got nothing in return.
Thanks to digital advancement, customers have greater control over a company’s reputation. In addition, a positive customer experience can help the business capture more leads when they share their satisfaction experience with family, friends, and colleagues.
But what if the customers are not happy with your products and services? They will surely complain. Research conducted by Esteban Kolsky states that 13% of unsatisfied customers will share their complaints with 15-20 people around them. Only 1 out of 25 people reach the company directly.
Why do customers complain?
A customer complaint includes an issue faced by the customer itself. For example, it contains problems related to the product or services of a company or concerns with employees or internal processes. Upon hearing these problems directly from the consumers, companies can investigate and enhance their services to avoid further complaints in the future.
Research conducted by Harvard Business Review finds that customers whose complaints were handled within 5 minutes were turned into loyal customers and created more purchases in the future.
In the year 2020, 32% of the customers surveyed responded they were satisfied with companies’ ways of addressing their complaints. On the other hand, unhappy customers shared their negative experiences with twice as many people.
Different ways customers can register their complaints.
Thanks to digitalization, customers have several ways of registering complaints via digital communications, live chats, and social media.
Some companies still entertain the traditional way of filing a complaint — like the Scottish Power complaints process requires customers to make a call at their customer cells. The rest will be taken care of by their representatives.
The present-day customer complaint process has become much easier and more seamless, thanks to the excess use of digital channels. Customers can easily reach out to the company via email, social media, or live chat.
The digital generation, which includes millennials, Gen z, and Gen Alpha, prefer using social media, in particular, to register their complaints. Keeping up with the trend, companies have started becoming more proactive about addressing customer complaints on social channels and live chats.
Customers are often confused and hesitant before putting in a complaint with the company. Some of them feel lost because of the lack of knowledge on how to complain successfully.
The best way to ease the process is by reading the company’s policy, taking the help of complaint directories, reading reviews of the people who complained in the past, or directly reaching out to the company’s representatives on social media or email.
With the growth of consumer complaints, the solution expectation has also grown where customers are looking for more than just refunds. Apart from financial solutions, they expect empathy, an apology, or other solutions relative to the problem.
The downside of dissatisfied customers
A dissatisfied customer can create a negative market reputation for the company. Unhappy customers whose complaints are not resolved or handled professionally tell other people about their negative experiences, which can be problematic for the companies.
There can be many reasons for improper handling of customer complaints. For example, it can be a disconnect between the complaint filing process or a delay in addressing the grievance.
For customers who wish to lodge a successful complaint, look for different ways that can be used to reach the company. First, let’s look at the complaint procedure of Wetherspoons — a UK-based pub company that operates across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Wetherspoons complaints can be made via the contact form, Wetherspoons app, or by visiting any of its pubs.
How to complain effectively?
- Make a valid complaint.
- Identify the outcomes you want to achieve — refund, replacement, or simply an apology.
- Include details in your complaint — order number, date, charges, etc.
- Keep copies of receipts, bank statements, order slips, previous refund bills, etc.
- Set a response deadline to make the process faster.
- Be polite and reasonable — Remember that the company will try its best to resolve your issue. Be patient and respectful.
What do you think is the best way to make a successful customer complaint? Drop-in your answers in the comment section below.
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