The business environment has become highly competitive and today, customers have a choice of products and services. In this competitive environment, the differentiator that can lead to business success is innovative products and services, and a customer-centric approach.
Customer loyalty and satisfaction have become the top business agenda, and everyone is focusing on the customer. Businesses must listen and respond to customer complaints and grievances in a structured and process-driven manner. This becomes a challenge when there are tens of thousands, or even millions of customers. Not responding to customer complaints, or responding in a way that offends customers can damage business reputation and result in customer churn and loss of revenue. It also impacts the share price of your company and affect its investors. No business wants a customer posting negative sentiment or grievance on the internet or social media.
To mitigate customer churn and improve satisfaction, businesses need to assess and respond to customer complaints in a timely and uniform manner — and to do that, an effective Complaint Management System needs to be implemented.
A Complaint Management System (also called conflict management system) comprises a set of procedures to address customer complaints and resolve disputes. This system is essential for every business, even small businesses, as it can ensure business success.
Some of the benefits of a Complaint Management System are:
It will monitor and continually improve your complaints handling process, leading to better customer satisfaction rates.
Most businesses struggle to cope with these customer service challenges:
1. They are unable to answer a (prospective) customer’s questions – Studies show that 55 percent of customers that intended to purchase a product backed out because they did not get a satisfactory response to their question.
2. Getting a human CSR (customer service representative) to answer a call – customers detest listening to pre-recorded messages and navigating through a maze of options in an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system before they can get to a human CSR.
3. CSRs are not equipped with the right tools – looking for customer information during service calls, fumbling with inadequate tools, and asking customers questions about the information that you already have, can put customers off. The key is to use the right software and train your CSRs to use these effectively. For instance, adopting visual engagement tools equips your support team to talk to customers in real-time, allowing them to share screens, access customers’ web resources, and take the right action to ensure a fast resolution.
4. Understand the customer requirement and speak in their terms – Customers may not always understand your product features and know all the associated terminology and technology. So they are unable to articulate the difficulties they face with your product. CSRs are taught to listen empathetically to customers. They can also refer to a list of FAQs and responses to quickly respond to questions.
5. The customer service workflow is not in-line with the customer journey – A customer journey map are the steps a customer goes through when interacting with your company–from purchasing to after-sales. CSRs need to adequately address support at every stage (touchpoint) of the customer journey.
6. Handling angry customers during a crisis – Angry customers are inevitable, and CSRs should be trained to deal with conflicts or dilemmas. There are specific processes and techniques to handle angry customers. One such technique is Disney’s HEARD technique (Hear, Empathize, Apologize, Resolve, Diagnose).
7. Exceed customer expectations – The key to happy customers and customer loyalty is exceeding expectations. And customer expectations do change frequently. You can stay ahead of your customers and exceed expectations by keeping your CSRs up to date through customer feedback and with the latest market trends. Customer feedback and continuous evaluation of that feedback will undoubtedly go a long way in achieving customer satisfaction and business success. This is established through best practices and standardised processes.
To cope with these 7 challenges, you need to follow a standard like ISO 10002:2014 for deploying a Complaint Management System to resolve customer grievances.
The ISO 10002:2014 standard, now revised to ISO 10002:2018, provides guidance on the process of complaints handling related to products within an organization. This includes planning, design, operation, maintenance, and improvement. The complaints-handling process described by this standard is suitable for use as one of the processes of an overall quality management system.
The ISO 10002:2014 standard addresses the following aspects of complaints handling:
In brief, ISO 10002 will ensure:
A happy customer is a loyal customer! To ensure this, you must respond accurately and swiftly to customer complaints—and equip your CSRs with the right tools and processes to respond.
A Complaint Management System backed by industry standards like ISO 10002 will ensure high levels of customer satisfaction and ensure that your organization is a customer-centric one.
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