The new reality of resolving customer issues
A customer complaint is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, complaints are opportunities to deepen engagement and experience. It’s how you handle these situations that defines your organization’s commitment to customer experience.
If you step back and ask why customers send negative feedback in the first place, the answer is simple. At the core, they want to be heard and responded to, according to their desired outcome. The end-goal may be a refund, a simple apology, or a chance to help you improve your products and services. Whatever their motivation, your challenge is to manage customers through clear processes designed to solve specific problems and exceed expectations. If you can do that — you’ve earned a more loyal customer than the one who originally raised the case.
But how do you do that?! Focus on the following three elements as the most critical. If you can provide fast, smooth paths to resolution, which also drive ongoing improvements, you’ll win in the end — even if you face a lot of complaints right now. Make it a priority to devise processes and workflows that streamline the speed and efficiency of case management because customers want this even more than they want new and improved products. Today’s loyalty is driven by service and experience.
The new reality of resolving customer issues:
> First, think fast. First and foremost, you need to implement processes that institutionalize fast problem resolution. A recent Economist Intelligent Unit survey of more than 2,000 global consumers showed that customers want speedy resolution more than anything else. When asked to select the most important aspect of an ideal customer experience, respondents chose a fast response to inquiries or complaints (47%) as their number one factor.
> Second, be smooth. It’s critical to design strategic workflows that move customers smoothly from initial complaint through to full problem resolution. If there are too many hoops to jump through or processes that feel like “two steps forward, one step back,” customers will bail out before their problem is solved. And, as we all well know, the first place they’ll vent is a social media channel or review site. Make sure you’ve personally experienced what it’s like to go through a case from the vantage point of a customer. Seeing the steps on paper is not enough.
> Third, keep learning. Let go of the idea of perfection. Resolving complaints is simply a part of doing business and you’ll never not have to do it. So, learn from the feedback by analyzing common complaints, questions, and other data that will lead you directly to areas needing improvement. Remember that negative feedback not only drives positive change in your organization, it’s also perceived as genuine and transparent when other customers see it. Interestingly, a recent Northwestern study showed that when the average score on a review site is a perfect 5.0, consumers naturally assume that ALL of your reviews are fake and completely ignore the ratings. So take a little bad with the good — and all will be better in the end.
Please ask us about Clicktools Resolve if you’re interested in a solution that does a lot of this work for you. Resolve is a full-circle case management solution that automates workflows from initial case creation to analysis and reporting. See the Clicktools Resolve Datasheet by clicking here.