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Getting the Most Out of Customer Complaints, Part 1

Getting a Second Chance

angry customer yelling into phone
A complaint gives you a second chance to turn a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one
Photo © Peter Finnie/iStockphoto

A customer's complaint is a blessing in disguise. In fact, you should consider yourself lucky to get a complaint. A complaint gives you a second chance to turn a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one, and perhaps to save an account. From one-half to three-quarters of customers who register a complaint will keep doing business with a company if their complaint is resolved. That figure goes up to 95 percent if their complaint is resolved quickly.

Prompt resolution of a complaint often generates more customer loyalty than trouble-free service. Odd, but it seems we all like it when a company goes out of its way to solve our specific problem, even if they caused the problem in the first place.

Furthermore, according to the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, a typical business hears from only 4 percent of its dissatisfied customers. The other 96 percent just quietly stew; many will suddenly cancel your service, or not renew, or switch to a competitor, and you will never know why. And for every complaint received, the average company has 26 customers with problems, six of which are "serious." While the average customer doesn't complain to the company, he will tell ten people or more about the problem, and these people in turn will tell others. A complaint identifies an area of your business that might need improvement. If you suddenly see several customers with the same complaint, then you have a functional problem that needs analysis, discussion, and correction. Complaints are a great tool to fine-tune your customer service, to get better at what you do. But you have to know how to analyze your complaints.

For part 2, click Complaint Analysis

 

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