With the internet now accessible to virtually everyone, consumers have numerous ways to share good customer experiences with a wide audience online. The more people who learn about your business’s great service, the more customers you could gain. But things can also take a turn for the worse if your customer service is lacking. People can complain about it online to let others know, potentially hurting your reputation and bottom line.
To get to the root of why customers complain, negative reviews can prove to be a useful tool. If you’re wondering what is the main reason for customer dissatisfaction with your business, somewhere in the complaints lies the answer.
Common Reasons Behind Customer Complaints
So why do customers complain in the first place? Let’s go over some of the common causes behind them.
If you advertise your products and services as top-notch but fail to deliver, your customers will be disappointed with your brand. You can be sure that they’ll start leaving negative reviews on sites like Yelp and Google Reviews or share their bad experiences with others on social media.
Hidden Fees & Information
When making offers to customers, it’s best to come clean and explain all the costs and conditions included. Revealing new fees only when the customer is already transacting with you will make them feel conned out of their money, leading to complaints about your conduct. Doing this could give you a reputation for cheating customers.
Not Keeping Promises
Do you promise consumers 24/7 customer support but reject calls after work hours? Or on-time deliveries that are always late? Breaking promises, no matter their size, will result in a loss of trust with your customers. Besides leaving bad reviews, they’ll likely move to another brand that seems more reliable.
Poor Customer Service Experiences
A customer that didn’t have a good experience with staff or customer service reps is bound to complain about it. For instance, they may have encountered CSRs who didn’t listen carefully to their problem, spoke to them in a rude tone, or put them on hold for too long. What message does this send about your company? Probably not one that will make them want to buy from you again.
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How Do You Respond to Customer Problems More Effectively?
Now that we’ve established why customers complain, how do you respond to customer problems more effectively? Follow these tips to resolve the issue while repairing your relationship with customers.
Develop Complaint Guidelines
If you’ve already noticed what kind of complaints you frequently receive, you can list them and create guidelines for your staff to address them more consistently. Coordinated responses help prevent confusion among your customers until you can solve the issue.
Reduce Long Waits on Hold
You can’t expect customers to stay patient while customer support puts them on hold. If your customers have to spend several minutes waiting for a representative to accommodate them, you likely have either one of these problems:
- You don’t have enough CSRs to handle your call volume, or
- You lack automated call center software that can route callers to the right agents
You might have to hire more representatives or invest in call center software. Also, consider scaling up your CSR team by outsourcing the job to a third party.
Acknowledge the Mistake
One of the simplest ways to stay in the customer’s good graces is to admit that you made a mistake and apologize for it. A study from the University of Nottingham found that saying sorry works better than if you only settle with offering compensation to unhappy customers. Recognizing errors makes your business more “human” to consumers and gives them hope that you plan to resolve them.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Once you’ve resolved the problem, the CSR can make a follow-up call or send an email to your customers to check if they’re happy with the solution you’ve provided. Doing so also lets you know if another problem arises from the given solution.
If you simply leave them be after handling the issue, you risk making your customers feel like you don’t care about them at all.
Why Dealing with Complaints Is Important for Your Business
Handling customer complaints is one aspect of customer service that plays a large role in how people view your company. As much as possible, you’ll want to make sure you can keep your current customers loyal, as it takes far more work and money to gain new ones. Research shows that 78 percent of consumers would be willing to buy your goods and services again if you respond well to their complaints, even after you’ve made a mistake.
Understanding why customers complain about your company helps you know what you still need to work on as an organization. Whether it’s improving your products or overhauling your customer service team or outsourcing it, you can improve the customer experience and reap bigger sales.