Business | Customer complaints

Managing Customer Complaints – Turning negatives into positives

Words by Alex Matheson
Managing Customer Complaints – Turning negatives into positives

Customer complaints is a scary term. We all want our customers to be satisfied from the moment they find us to the moment we deliver on our promises, and hopefully beyond. We’d like each interaction to be a positive one, but that can’t always be the case.

Whether through human error, miscommunication, or some other fault, every business will have to deal with customer complaints at some point.

So, how can we turn these negative experiences into positive ones? Is it right to fear the complaints our customers have, or can we take a different perspective on things? With proper management, customer complaints can provide real, tangible opportunities for improvement.

How do you manage customer complaints?

In the first instance your customer support staff need to follow a few simple rules:

  • Remain calm – Customer complaints might come with a certain level of animosity and it’s important to remain calm, listen attentively, and be prepared to acknowledge the issues your customer is facing.
  • Ask questions – This isn’t about making a value judgement on the customer’s complaint, but instead you need to find out as many details as possible so you can fully understand how the complaint has come about.
  • Offer a resolution – If there’s a clear resolution to the issue, offer it as soon as possible. If there isn’t, move on to the next step.
  • Investigate – If no solution presents itself immediately then more investigation is necessary. If needs be, you can let the customer know they can expect a response at a later date and what timeframe they can expect that to arrive in.
  • Resolve the issue – Once you’ve investigated, created a solution and enacted it, you can let the customer know what the resolution was and how they can get back in contact if a similar or unrelated issue comes up in the future.
  • Record everything – Whether this is a one off or a known issue, by recording the details properly you can track trends and anticipate solutions in the future.

If your customer support staff are able to stick to these rules, you should be in good shape to provide customer satisfaction. A customer complaint could lead to an immediate loss of business, but a well handled one can actually instil new confidence in you as a service or product provider.

When people feel heard and validated, they can form an emotional bond with a product or service that might otherwise be eroded by poor customer service. If they feel like they’ve had an active hand in improving the output of a business, they can build a real sense of satisfaction. This is where customer complaints can transform into brand loyalty and an improved product or service.

What is a customer complaint management system?

Any system that allows you to log and respond to customer complaints could be classed as a customer complaint management system. This could be ad-hoc means such as a phone line and an excel spreadsheet, but there are specialised systems out there that can provide much more utility and power when it comes to managing customer complaints.

Within the Atlas Cloud, we can enable the creation of customer complaint management processes that provide real impact for your company. You can move from simply mapping out how a customer complaint journey is handled, through to integration with the various systems involved in handling customer interaction.

With our platform, you can craft scalable business solutions that grow and adapt as you encounter, understand, and solve the issues your customers might be having.

How to build a successful customer complaints process within Atlas Play

Atlas Play uses BPMN2.0 to enable companies to map out impactful and scalable business processes that can be integrated with diverse systems and automated where possible. The route to creating a customer success complaint management process in a platform such as ours is going to be different for every business, but some good rules of thumb can be found below.

  • Begin by mapping out the end to end procedure in Atlas Play, from contact through to resolution,
  • Assign the necessary user roles, from the people receiving, responding to and cataloguing complaints to the people who can find and create resolutions
  • Integrate your process into your customer relationship management systems, your development systems and other systems such as finance and inventory management
  • Collect data and turn it into insight using custom dashboards in Atlas Boost.
  • Use that data to improve your business and anticipate potential pain points for your customers
  • Keep a handle on your resources, such as returns and replacements, using Atlas Optimise
  • Do everything in real time by enabling low latency cloud connections using Atlas Edge
  • Learn from your customer’s complaints and continuously improve

With well defined and continuously improving customer complaints management processes you can turn negatives into positives, create real brand loyalty and ultimately offer better services and products to your customers.

Atlas can help you with every step of this journey, so take the first step now and begin your 30 day free trial of Atlas Play by clicking the link below.