Customer complaints can be very damaging when handled poorly – left unresolved, customers will eventually turn to the internet to post their negative experience online where it can have far-reaching consequences for businesses.
A 2013 National Customer Rage Study found that more than a third of customers post their complaints on places such as social networks, Shopify, Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor and countless other authoritative platforms are where complaints can wreak havoc with businesses, inflicting decreased revenue and credibility.
It’s a trend which is growing at an astounding rate – the report also found that online posts of customer complaints has almost doubled since 2011.
We know from experience that if you ask customers about their experience with your company in a timely manner, that they would prefer to just tell you.
BUT if you don’t ask, they WILL go to social networks and review sites – so why not get in there first?
One of the stumbling blocks for companies in tackling this problem is that customer dissatisfaction happens offline first, often without the company’s knowledge.
So what can we do about it? Different customers have different requirements and it’s not always easy to meet all their needs. But what if we could identify and resolve their issues long before they take the decision to write a negative review?
That would be ideal, right?
Take action on Customer Complaints
It’s unrealistic to think you can prevent a frustrating customer experience from ever happening, but there are tools at our disposal which make it easier than ever to quickly identify and resolve these experiences.
Be proactive, seek to provide a way for every customer to easily inform you of their frustrations, give yourself a chance to take steps to resolve the issue before your customer feels like they have no option other than to post their complaint online.
This is exactly what customer feedback software (psst! Like CustomerSure!) is designed to do – provide a way to gather feedback after every customer interaction, whether they’ve bought something from you or received an invoice on a service.
Feedback software solutions send short feedback forms to your customers so that any complaints are immediately flagged up on the software’s dashboard, which notifies your customer service representatives about the problem, as well as providing the tools they need to take swift action.
Businesses must switch focus
According to Victoria Rossi, Analyst at Software Advice and Managing Editor for the Customer Service Investigator, businesses must switch focus from ‘dealing with complaints online’ to ‘preventing complaints in the first place’.
‘There’s lots of advice available for how to handle customer complaints online, but it’s also possible to keep complaints from reaching the web in the first place.’
‘Businesses that take a proactive approach to gathering feedback can re-direct complaints and help keep many of them offline.’
‘Honest feedback can be a great way to help a business grow and improve, even when it’s negative. But when that feedback appears online, it can also really hurt companies—small businesses especially.’
‘The companies and experts I spoke with had some great feedback-gathering tools to help keep customer complaints in-house, so that owners and managers can make preventative adjustments before complaints get to social review sites.’
Customer feedback software is designed to provide an easy way to be ‘proactive’ to nip complaints in the bud, and completely win over that customer with your company’s incredible dedication to customer satisfaction.
What’s the appeal?
Social media and review sites are appealing places for customers to voice their complaints because it’s easy to do, takes no time whatsoever and can have a huge impact.
Posting negative reviews online is often seen as the best way force a company to change. Unfortunately, for many companies it’s only when their public image is under immediate threat that they take action, and often it’s too late to be effective.
With customer feedback software your company opens up the doors to customers, by making it even easier to voice a complaint directly to the company, immediately after they have had a frustrating experience.
Ask. Listen, Act.
Through surveys or an integrated customer service desk as a part of your website, let customers know that you want to resolve any issues, not ignore them.
Your customers will thank you for providing a way to listen to them and for taking action to meet their needs. They’ll be far less likely to turn to the internet to post negatively online, so your business won’t have to cope with damaging business consequences.
If you do this, Social networks, Shopify, Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor and all relevant platforms will be an oasis of comments from satisfied customers, meaning your company will attract more customers, retain existing customers and increase revenue.
That’s how and why to avoid customer complaints appearing in damaging locations.
What to Do Next
If you enjoyed this article on preventing customer complaints ever reaching damaging online locations, take a look at How to Handle Customer Complaints Like a Customer Service Ninja, or 5 Customer Feedback Questions that actually work for inspiration on what to ask your customers.
Once you’ve done that, we want you to do one thing:
Look into software solutions to deliver amazing customer satisfaction, and avoid dreaded customer complaints appearing online.
Wait! Before you get started on that (you can try out our software for a free today!), leave a comment below – right now. Let us know how you plan on using software to satisfy customers or if you have a question.