Client feedback is the most revered part of your business. When clients feel ecstatic and happy about your product or service, they leave compliments that fill your heart with warmth. The tricky part comes when you have to handle a client when they are unsatisfied with your company. Understandably, you feel overwhelmed and quite baffled as though someone had burst your perfect bubble even when you did everything right.
You must handle such scenarios tactfully and tread appropriately to resolve the complaint at hand. When the customer is making an effort to voice out their concerns, you should adopt an optimistic approach and consider it an opportunity for improvement. Here we shall discuss practical tips that help you to acknowledge, verify and resolve the complaint.
According to Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft,
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”.
Therefore, our goal here is to learn from such incidents and grow as a team for an exponential rise in customer satisfaction.
Acquire the vigilance of a hawk
To get on top of customer complaints you have to initiate a streamlined complaint analysis process. It is done to track, categorise and deal with client complaints through cloud-based software that can handle big data. Whenever you receive a customer complaint, the concerned party is expressing their issue pertaining to your product or service but all the incoming concerns need not be acted upon with uniform vigor. You can decide your course of action by asking yourself a few important questions.
You can gauge whether a similar issue has been brought forth before, have you recorded the complaints, what is the frequency of the specific complaint, is there any pattern to how this complaint was received, has the same customer reported the issue previously.
You can come up with a definitive conclusion by answering these questions. The complaints can shape the path of your response and help you etch out the necessary steps you need to execute to prevent the issue from occurring again. Having the vigilance of hawks while tending to customer complaints surely turns out to be advantageous for your business.
Cultivate a streamlined process
Any SaaS is not just about developing the best product in the market but about providing your customers with a holistically pleasant experience. So it is essential for you to conduct your business in a manner that lives up to your customer’s high standards. Your team can have the best customer-facing aptitude but can be stumped at times or be subjected to human error. Ergo you need to provide some basic guidelines that can be absorbed from top-ranking customer-centric companies in the world. Curate elaborate customer service policies that include ways to handle customer complaints using CRM in the early stage of your business so that you can fall back on the same and evolve through the initially documented processes. The crux of documenting the process with a cloud-based platform is maintaining consistency right from the go. This kind of CRM Software ensures that all the customers with similar issues are provided with a uniform response even when dealing with a different member of your team. Developing a process is a great way to avoid a frustrated customer who is guided in a unique manner without any fruition. Alongside a satisfying customer experience, documenting your processes makes the team’s life much easier in the long run.
Service Recovery Paradox
You can choose one of the two pathways of the pitchfork while handling angry customers. The way you handle the complaint can turn the customer away from your company or convert them into ardent advocates of your business and loyal clients.
So let’s look at a few necessary steps for a company to turn the complaint around.
First things first, allow the customer to say their piece without interruption. Usually, all a customer wants is to be heard. You should have a cloud contact centre and train your staff to always be the listener in the conversation. Teach them to avoid jumping in with premature solutions midway and fail to address their issue altogether.
No matter the nature of the complaint, show you understand why they’re upset. It helps the customer believe that you intend to help them resolve their problem. The semantics have a great impact on customer retention rate. Even if you are not able to solve the issue, your concern demonstrates that the customer is of paramount importance.
Again, a sincere apology can go a long way so do not back down from saying the simple words in a meaningful manner.
Take immediate actions to get the problem solved and always look for answers through the various cloud solutions to how you can make this right. Rest assured, quick decisions can make your customers happy and provide them with affirmatory sentiment towards your brand for future encounters.
Put adequate thought into recurring problems and try to get to the bottom of why the complaint situation occurred in the first place. Ask questions like do you need to make changes to your processes to avoid dealing with the same issues over and over.
Customer satisfaction & Prompt responses
No matter how busy you or your team are, delaying responses to customer complaints is never a good option. The practice can yield nothing beneficial and often lead to the rapid escalation of the problems. The current era demands advanced cloud-based software with instantaneous communication and the clients expect to be tended to in an expedited manner. A prompt and professional response can lead to pleasant interaction with the customer, whereas an unimaginative and delayed response just allows the client to marinate their distasteful experience and develop permanent bitterness for your SaaS. Use the power of cloud solutions, chatbots, or social media platforms to ensure quick responses to the complaints or schedule automated responses with an estimated time frame to when a customer’s complaint will be addressed.
Try to be as transparent as possible while handling the complaints or just taking measures for the benefit of your business. In the end, it is always about building a rapport and establishing trust with your customer. Several customers tend to be skeptical about SaaS to date. The usual client observes that the software costs a ton of money, but does not need a vast overhead on the part of the provider. The owners may have to incur some development and marketing costs but other than that where else is the customer’s hard-earned money going. The sheer skeptics also thoroughly question any possible security breaches and opaque contract language.
Adopting a transparent model of customer service for SaaS involves creating crystal clear policies regarding customer support and service availability. Having such transparency is the only way to overcome any customer’s skepticism and establish trust after a customer experiences an issue. A few ways to maintain thorough transparency include letting the user know about the downtime and providing advanced notice of changes in the pricing or contracts. Also, try to answer the questions that prospective customers might have and make it convenient for the users to cancel the service. Taking such actions automatically eliminates half the reasons that the customers might be facing issues in the first place.
Provide a solution and follow up with the customer
Make sure your follow-up shows to your customers that you care, which makes the customer feel important. Following up with customers can bring about affirmations regarding the satisfaction quotient. Take feedback on how the complaint was handled and if the matters were brought to rectification as per the needs. Addressing underlying issues systematically to provide better customer service is one of the primary key points in the CRM definition. Around seventy percent of clients leave a business because they feel you don’t care about them as very few organisations believe in following up with their customers. Once you’ve recognised the bottom of the customer’s issue, proposed a solution, and sent that solution to the customer, it’s essential to verify that the solution you put forth actually resolved the problem. There are a wide array of ways to pursue this:
- In case you cannot check that the solution is appropriate, insert a line to the end of your statement: “Kindly let me know if there’s anything else we can do for you. I’m happy to help!”
- Verify that the solution is working, then revert with: “We have tested this and it all appears to be working as expected, as you can see here: (attach a screenshot). However, kindly let us know if you’re still running into issues.”
- For a few instances, it may even be worthwhile reaching back out to the customer after some days have passed to make sure that everything is resolved.
A major aspect of handling customer complaints is being aware of any possible problems. SaaS should methodically and regularly measure satisfaction through their call centre software, surveys, or by contacting them directly. The company should have a grasp on data such as are the clients complaining because they were not a good fit for your product, are there any specific recognisable common complaints, and so forth. You might be attracting customers who aren’t a good fit because something needs adjusting in how you present your SaaS.
Try a customer complaint checklist
Handling a client complaint is similar to putting out fires. Matters can get reactive, and your product or service can be on par but it is impossible to please all of your customers. In order to make this easier, for the next instance when you get a complaint, use the below-mentioned checklist in order to respond, resolve and keep your customer happy.
- Accept the complaint
- Notify the customer that you are adopting steps to resolve it
- Document and classify the customer complaint
- Settle the complaint according to the policy
- Follow up with the client to ensure they are content.
Tips to handle negativity professionally
Juggling customer complaints is another part of the course for support professionals, but it never means that it might not take a toll on you emotionally from time to time. So in addition to arming you with a process for handling customer complaints, we would like to put forward these tips on how to prevent yourself from feeling down on days when you face lots of negativity continuously.
Rehearse objections ahead of time
Through a thorough rehearsing of potential objections ahead of time, you can be ready before real-life negative interactions take place. Ahead of launching a new product or feature, ponder about things that might attract polarising opinions. It has three purposes:
- You and your team need to comprehend that some customers might not always be on board with the changes you are making and handle the negativity. Addressing that beforehand avoids anyone from perceiving the situation with rose-tinted glasses.
- Discuss the rationale for the change and if the conclusion to make a change was well-thought-out and supported by data, you can go ahead knowing you made the right choice, even if it ruffles some customers’ feathers.
- Lastly, rehearse your replies and get everyone on the same page. It does not mean that you are creating support robots but about creating a consistent support experience for customers.
Acquire expertise in the explanatory style
If you visualise a complaint as permanent (not going away), pervasive (everyone feels this way), and personal (there’s a part of me that plays into this), you can feel like you have less control over your environment. Stuff is happening to you. You should convert the “permanent, pervasive, and personal” is “temporary, specific, and external.” Through this conversion, negative interactions tend to be more manageable and actionable.
You can put this into practice easily. Curate personal reviews of negative feedback ever so often so that:
- You can look for operations where you could have enhanced the interaction
- Exercise self-talk so such interactions don’t feel personal. The aforementioned practice prepares you to stomach any loops of negativity you might run into when navigating the queue.
Customer complaints are essential and one of the most informative ways of collecting direct feedback from the customers and enhancing your product or service. So, customer complaints can help to grow your business continuously if you focus on strategic improvements. This being said, the manner in which you tackle a complaint is the difference between retaining a customer or losing one. Hence, the other time you get a customer complaint, hear out what the customer has to say, look for a solution and follow up to see if they are happy with the way you are handling it. Adopting CRM software is also a wise choice for medium and large-scale enterprises. While doing so, you are on the path to creating many loyal customers, enhancing your service or product, and producing a better quality of customer service.
Originally published Feb 09, 2022, updated Jan 16, 2023