Each complaint is a chance
Customer complaints are an important topic for each company. The absolute will must be present to satisfy the customer – everything else is dangerous for a company. The difficulty is the practical implementation. The reason for that is that complaints disturb the normal working process and also that a company often has no reliable workflow to handle such transactions well and effectively.
Much training is offered to improve that. Mostly when people are confronted with training or consultation on this topic the content is communication. It is about finding the right words, to satisfy the customer. Complaint management however has two sides, a communicative and a technical.
All words for handling complaints, which someone can learn, are hollow words. It is most important to recognize that there is a customer who has a problem with a product or a service. In a company a contact partner must be present, whose absolute priority it is to help this customer. Each complaint must be treated as new and exceptional – which is how the customer normally sees it. When receiving and working on a complaint it plays no role whether it is frequent or valid. This basic mentality is most important for handling a complaint. Then training can help to find the right words for communication with the customer.
Second important step is the handling of complaints. Handling continues even after the complaint is completed. A complaint is a deviation in quality. Deviations can be located in one’s own company or on the customer’s side. Now a company needs a system, to organize, control and handle these quality problems. Handling in such a way that the company learns from these mistakes, in order to avoid future errors of this kind.
A lot of companies see the solution for this problem in quality management. But a QM-System is only as good as the information and tasks that it gets. Some QM-Systems are so bureaucratic that the handling of complaints is a horror for the staff. Therefore sometimes it takes a long time to finish complaint. The head of sales, production and R&D has the task and the responsibility to show the right way and to develop a workflow to provide an effective handling of complaints. Then every complaint really becomes a chance to keep the customer and a chance to improve products continuously.