Businesses used to have a mirky morality to them. However, they’re increasingly subjected to immense scrutiny in today’s social, economic, and political climate.
To an extent, a company should be grateful for the more minor complaints it receives. Often, it will be actionable feedback they can use to their advantage. Remember, in certain instances, customers will bypass the complaints process entirely and go straight to the law, so you should be thankful you’re receiving some data that can help you to fine-tune your offerings.
Smaller grievances can be a significant cause for concern when they’re recurring in nature. Anticipating the common quibbles of the business environment should help you curve much of these woes.
Consequently, here are some of the everyday customer complaints about modern businesses and what you can do to counter them.
Poor Handling of Complaints
Ironic, but true all the same, lacklustre responses to their complaints frequently aggravates customers. After all, a timely reaction is the mark of a company that cares.
Many customers were more forgiving of some firm’s shortcomings in recent times. However, patience is running out quickly in all sectors. For instance, consumers have become less tolerant of the covid excuse when complaints go unheard. From here, it’s only a short leap for some to take their business elsewhere.
The handling of complaints is a highly sensitive issue. You can improve things here by:
- Offering links to internal FAQ pages that may address their issue before they decide to complain.
- Providing an automated message that acknowledges the complaint and specifies that a member of your team will be in touch within a promised time frame.
- Having customer service personnel review the matter before getting in touch with the customer which prevents consumers from reiterating themselves.
- Assuring that complaints will go up the chain of command where necessary, highlighting the importance of the complaint.
Your customer service personnel should refrain from redirecting blame or being elusive with their answers. Transparency builds trust, and so too does accountability. A company is much more likely to earn a customer’s forgiveness if they take the time to show a willingness to improve their efforts.
Excessive Hold Times
Calling a business directly often involves being placed on hold. You may give these moments some levity with a delightful jingle, but ultimately, these charms can wear off rather quickly.
The first thing you can do to keep hold times to a minimum is introduce better technology into the workplace. If your customer service staff can have menial tasks designated to a dedicated artificial intelligence software, they can get back to their customers sooner. Cloud storage may also give them faster access to data that supports them in answering customer queries.
Additionally, you could simply recruit more staff to meet the demand. If the upsurge is a temporary, seasonal peak, then perhaps some temp workers could bring some balance to your work processes? Otherwise, some permanent additions to your team could be worthwhile if the popularity of your business is steadily increasing.
The world of online shopping has been highly convenient during the pandemic. However, it’s also created a nation of impatient, rage-filled individuals when things aren’t going as they should.
To improve things here, you should first consider working with a reputable delivery service. You’ll often find that these businesses are usually ranked in terms of best to worst, so do some independent research. Moreover, don’t be afraid to swap arrangements at the earliest opportunity should the standards of those you’re working with slip.
You could also run your own delivery service if you have the resources available. To make things more manageable, you can create a priority ordering system, whereby you have a tiered approach as to which deliveries are most important. That way, you can avoid being overwhelmed by an onslaught of demanding delivery times.
Make sure drivers are instructed to take good care of products while they’re in transit. A quick delivery won’t be looked upon favourably if packages arrive damaged. Moreover, make sure goods are signed for or at least delivered in safe locations. After that, you can send customers an email requesting any thoughts or feedback on the service offered, helping you optimise things further.
Practices That Aren’t Eco-Friendly
Eco-friendly products and services are becoming increasingly important to the masses. However, firms that are harming the environment, or are misleading about what part they play, may earn a plethora of complaints.
There are many ways to incorporate eco-friendly measures into your firm. Carpooling and recycling schemes, switching to a renewable energy supplier, and installing solar panels are great solutions. Making sure your fleet is composed of electric vehicles is also a positive step.
You and your colleagues could also embark on a short online course around business and climate change needs in 2021 and beyond. Gain insights into the organisational risks and opportunities posed by climate change. If your business activities are environmentally conscious, you will bring long-term value and resilience to your brand. Learn about all the steps you can take from climate change short courses and then take action.
If you promote your eco-friendly nature in any marketing materials, ensure that all your claims are backed up by data. Embellished statements about your contribution can easily be fact-checked. Make sure all your labels have accurate ingredient and materials information and be honest about the extent of your efforts. Trying to make a difference should appease most customers.
Out of Stock Products
Some products may be sought after more than others. Depending on availability, you may not be able to serve each customer a specific item.
While there is a tinge of inevitability in some circumstances, there are still measures you can take to mitigate this problem. These could be:
- Opening communication channels – Once the demand for a product can be gauged, manufacturing crews can then step up their processes if possible.
- Highlight out of stock products immediately – Customers won’t appreciate being misled, especially if they get to the checkout page of an online transaction only to be let down.
- Flagging limited availability – If a product does run out of stock after plenty of notice, the disappointment may sting slightly less. You can do this with a website pop-up or a shop window sign.
- Notifying customers when things change – An automated apology message coupled with a vow to message customers when the product becomes available could go a long way. Take their contact information and be sure to follow through on the promise.
- Offering alternative products – If the product that’s out of stock has a comparable alternative that you sell, it may be a good idea to recommend that instead. Not all customers will be satisfied, but some may make a purchase anyway out of necessity.
It would help if you remained proactive during stock shortages. Don’t resign yourself to defeat and chalk things up to failing to anticipate demand or manufacturers not meeting quotas. Focus on solutions, and you can mitigate the drawbacks of a stock shortage skillfully.
Of course, many firms are aware of the complaints listed above, but not all of them will appreciate the gravity of the situation. Economic uncertainty and on-demand technology have made many target markets eager for higher quality service. Therefore, even the more minor victories are worthwhile and may give you an edge over any struggling competitors.
Keep pushing your firm’s limits and don’t settle for mediocrity, and customer complaints will be far fewer.