It may hurt to take customer complaints, but listening to them can make you a sales and marketing champion.
Here’s a question: does “constructive criticism” ever feel good when you’re getting it? Of course not. No one ever feels good when they are being criticized, especially is said criticism is “constructive” in name only. (“Can I offer you some friendly advice? Everything about you is terrible.”)
Of course, no matter how the criticism is meant, you can be constructive with it. You can take slings and arrows and turn them into something positive. That’s an attitude your company should have with customer complaints. They are a chance to improve every part of your process, including marketing.
Indeed, complaints and customer issues are another way that marketing and customer service are inextricably linked. They help you understand customer pain points, which can be addressed moving forward. They can help you understand how customers are actually using your product or service, which might be different from what you imagine. Really, customer service complaints let you know who your customers really are.
Complaints can be harnessed into better marketing and better customer service, if you know how to handle them, and how to be, well, constructive with them.
Great Expectations: The Main Types of Customer Service Complaints
There are a few primary reasons why customers feel compelled to complain, whether it is to a CSR directly or on social media (and don’t forget, part of customer service is monitoring social media).
What do all of these have in common? They are all about expectations, perceptions, and reality. But you might not know your customer expectations until they complain about them being unmet.
How to Fix the Expectations
Chances are, you’ve worked in a company where you get a new client, and they expect things you can’t deliver. At that point, you curse out marketing, because now it’s your problem. But marketing might not even realize the expectations they are setting, and might not realize how customers are interpreting their sales. This can be fixed with more information and more communication.
It starts with customer service. When handling a complaint, they should:
All of this ties back to marketing.
As we’ve talked about, customer service and marketing should be a loop of information. Marketing and sales should know exactly what customers are thinking, because that really tells you exactly who customers really are. Knowing what these expectations are, and how they might be unmet, can help your business hone its marketing and sales approaches.
It isn’t just about changing expectations, either. It is about learning pain points, what drives customers, and what motivates them. Because the heart of expectations is desire. How they perceive a product or service is a reflection of what they want and need. Understanding that, with the help of “constructive” criticism and communication between sales, marketing, and customer service, means setting yourself up for success with every sale.
At RDI Corporation, we combine the best in progressive and comprehensive digital marketing with proven effectiveness in customer service. Our training, hiring, and execution practices make us complete partners with our clients. Connect with RDI/A or RDI-Connect to learn more, and we invite you to read our white paper, The Perfect Circle: How Customer Service and Marketing Are the Same Thing which discusses even more ways that the two sides can complement and improve each other.
RDI Corporation was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Blue Ash, Ohio. We provide precise business solutions through a fully integrated outsourcing model and our clients ranged from mid-sized corporations to distinguished Fortune 500 companies.