When customers complain, it is natural for a business to go on the defensive. After all, no business wants to be told they are doing something wrong. However, creating a positive customer service experience is easier with customer input, and negative comments can be more beneficial than positive ones.
The majority of companies currently doing business are trying to provide products and services to meet the needs of their customers. Customers whose shopping experience is positive are less likely to comment on their experience, unless it is stellar for some particular reason. However, those who have a negative customer service experience are much more likely to complain. When this happens, a company can choose to handle complaints one of two ways. The choice a company makes can be the difference between decreasing customer service issues or causing further issues.
Let’s say a company chooses to believe that all customers who complain are whiners. It’s obvious that the customer just expects too much from the shopping experience and is now expressing her disappointment that she didn’t get exactly what she wants. In some cases, this could be an accurate assessment. For example, a woman shopping for a sensible heeled peep-toe pump is going to be disappointed in the dress shoe selection at an athletic shoe store. Her customer service experience complaints you could easily dismiss with little worry.
However, what if this same woman is actually shopping in an upscale women’s department store known for it's large selection of women’s dress shoes? In this instance, a wise business would pay close attention to the woman’s customer service concerns, especially if there are several. A solo complaint should be heard and rectified if at all possible. Multiple complaints should not just be listened to and rectified, they should be analyzed and used as tools for improvement of the customer service experience.
For every person who reports a negative customer service experience, there are several others who have the same experience but choose to say or do nothing. The ones who complain are doing a business a huge favor. If a business pays attention to what the customer is saying and then takes steps to make changes to keep those particular customer service issues from happening again, not only is a business satisfying the customer who complains, they are satisfying the others who remain silent.
It’s easy to dismiss a whining customer as someone who would never be satisfied no matter the circumstances. But in doing so, a company could miss out on vital opportunities to improve their business. A company doesn't have to ascribe to the theory that the “customer is always right,” but honestly believing a “customer should always be heard,” can lead to an increase in positive customer service experiences and that is a win for everyone.
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