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Are You Taking Too Long to Acknowledge Customer Complaints?

Are You Taking Too Long to Acknowledge Customer Complaints?

You might be losing a lot of customers because you’re taking too long to acknowledge their complaints.

No matter what a company does to keep a customer happy, complaints are bound to happen once in a while.

When a complaint comes in, it's important to know just how quickly you need to acknowledge the customer and what they're saying. The speed at which a company addresses a customer complaint influences whether or not the customer continues to do business with them.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allows a 15-day window in which companies must acknowledge customer complaints. And while that 15-day period may work for some, others may not appreciate waiting more than two weeks to be acknowledged and would rather have their complaints be addressed quickly.

Companies that use case management software are able to track, escalate, manage and resolve complaints more quickly. Learn more here: Managing Customer Complaints Effectively with Case Management Software eBook

Quick Recovery is Key

“Service recovery from failures (when the organization fails to meet customer expectations) should always be immediate, explains Taryn Brown, Ph.D. Brown, assistant professor of hospitality management at Daytona State College, argues that "the goal of all employees of an organization should be on-the-spot recovery.”

It is a complex issue because customers don’t want to wait and may become even more agitated by having to do so. Yet employees working with customers may lack the power to efficiently handle the situation, which leads to delays in addressing the problem.

In order for companies to be able to provide a quicker response to customer complaints, it is also important that managers give some power to their employees so that they can address problems immediately, rather than having to pass them on to others.

“Managers should encourage employees to be unconditionally available and empathetic to guest needs. After all, customers are the reason businesses exist!” says Brown.

View Customer Complaints as Opportunities

Only five to 10 per cent of customers will ever make a complaint, so when one is received it should be looked at as an opportunity. Thank the customer for bringing the problem forward.

“When customers complain, the organization gains valuable information that it can use to improve operations for the future,” explains Brown.

Monitor Social Media

Customers may retaliate if they wait too long for a response. Social media has made it extremely easy for an angry customer who feels ignored to post negatively, sharing the frustrating experience with their network in the click of a button.

In order to stay on top of customer feedback, companies need to keep tabs on social media. If management is not actively involved in monitoring the company’s social media, there should be someone who is. That way there is at least one person responsible for monitoring complaints online and resolving these issues right away.