6 Best Practices for Complaint Management – and How a CMS Can Help
March 04, 2020
Good customer service is essential to retain customers and grow your business, and if you’re mismanaging their feedback and complaints, you risk losing your client base. Customers want their issues addressed quickly and satisfactorily. Even a single misstep in your response could be costly, as it costs five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
So, it’s important you not only navigate these conversations with grace and patience to reach a satisfactory resolution, but also use each customer interaction to strengthen your relationship. That may seem like a tall order in an age where customers have an endless number of channels to amplify their complaints. But with the right complaint management solution (CMS), it’s possible.
Consider these six best practices for complaints management – and how technology assists in achieving them:
#1: Empower your employees with the visibility needed to assist the customer
Once a complaint is filed, your team should have visibility into all information and communications about the issue so they’re equipped to solve the problem. That means giving your employees access to all data surrounding the complaint – a comprehensive description of the problem and any steps already taken to resolve it. Asking that the customer re-explain their complaint and any previous communications, sets a bad tone for the conversation to follow.
The right complaint management solution gives you this visibility – a single source of truth that gathers all data into a central location and makes it available for employees who need it. This allows any team member to easily transition into the complaint process with the information they need to better serve the customer
#2: Monitor your social media platforms with frequency
The internet has revolutionized complaints management for better and for worse. Social media allows an upset customer to share their displeasure in an open forum, and if not addressed quickly, a complaint can become a crisis in a matter of hours. Responding with an automated post or tweet only makes matters worse.
Because you can’t waste time and resources by monitoring your Twitter account all day, you should leverage a complaint management system that gathers all social media posts, mentions and DMs about your company into one single dashboard. Based on the feedback, the CMS can monitor all of your social media platforms for complaints, and prioritize them for you and your team. This allows your team to respond quickly to complaints, giving you a chance to resolve the issue one-on-one before it escalates.
#3: Spot trends to identify root causes
You should always look for ways to improve your complaint management process, and improvement requires good data and trend spotting for sound decision-making. As your team responds to complaints, you should look for commonalities and root causes that you can address before others complain. You should also look at how your team responds to these complaints. Are they effective? If they aren’t, where are they consistently going wrong and how can you improve the process and service quality? This can only be achieved by closely tracking complaint and communications data.
The best complaint management tools make it simple to track data and pinpoint root causes, allowing you to quickly make changes to your processes to keep this issue from happening again. A CMS also allows you to track process data to determine where your customer service representatives can be more effective, and whether changes need to be made to the complaint management workflow.
#4: Communicate clearly and often
Never forget the customer is king, and every action you take should be in service of keeping them happy. This means clear communication when a problem does occur is essential. Mishandling a complaint can cost you a customer, especially if you don’t provide prompt and regular responses throughout the process.
A response to a complaint is often the most time-sensitive communication you’ll have with a customer, so you need to get it right – and a CMS can help. A CMS makes it easy for your customer service representatives to understand a customer’s specific problem and provide an immediate response as well as constant updates towards their resolution. Effectively communicating with the customer throughout the process, can help ensure you retain that customer.
#5: Professionalize your complaint handling team
Many organizations see their complaint handlers as an unnecessary cost and are reluctant to ask their customer service rock stars to manage complaints; it’s a tough job and requires the right level of experience and attitude to be a great complaint handler. Companies that do it well understand this and create a route to competency for their complaint handling professionals, providing them with a defined progression to achieve expert status.
Your CMS should support your complaint handlers’ career progression. It should provide them and their leaders with a clear, objective view of their performance, so they can see their development day-by-day, week-by-week. Complaint professionals, like any other professional, want to be in control of their own performance, to focus on their strengths and weaknesses to improve. Make sure your CMS leverages the inherent attributes of the human spirit to always strive for perfection.
#6: Remove the burden of process administration
Complaint professionals in the best complaint handling teams aren’t there because of their ability to adhere to process or to navigate systems, they are there because they are people; they have high levels of empathy and emotional intelligence. These are essential attributes of anyone whose primary role is customer recovery.
Your CMS must support a consistent complaint handling process. Managers need to be assured that customers are being treated fairly in line with brand guidelines or in some circumstances complying with regulation. Your CMS must remove the administrative burden from your complaint professionals enabling them to focus on customer recovery, to leverage their empathetic qualities and to dial up their emotional intelligence. They need to be able to focus on recovering the customer and delivering an experience that turns a disgruntled customer into an advocate and, more than that, your top performing sales person.
Aptean Respond helps you meet best practices
When you’re ready to improve your complaint management process, Aptean Respond can help you uncover insights that empower your team to better serve customers and bring complaints to a more positive resolution.
Respond allows your team to manage all facets of customer case management, streamline departmental communication, identify root causes, and deep dive into case analytics, all from a single platform. You can quickly gather any information about ongoing complaints and even monitor social media for complaints – which are then captured in the case history, streamlining the case entry process.
Don’t let your complaint management process damage customer relationships. Turn to Aptean Respond, and transform your complaint response into an opportunity to wow your customers. Want to learn more about Aptean Respond? Reach out here.