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Five Myths About Complaints Handling

So you've stumbled into one of the most difficult fields of customer service, and often, the most heated. Everyone has a different idea of just what complaints management is about, but as we learn in life, sometimes our original impressions don't really represent real life accuracies.

During this blogpost, we're going to talk about five common misconceptions that most people have about complaints management-and why exactly they're wrong to begin with.


1. Complaints aren't really that important

Lots of people, and unfortunately, businesses, don't place great emphasis on receiving complaints from customers. We all know that positive feedback is awesome and encouraging, but negative feedback is much more valuable.

Negative feedback allows you to gather a list of everything or anything your company, employees, or products/services might be doing wrong, and immediately work on fixing them. So yes, it may be nice to hear how efficient and innovative and functional your products may be, but one bad comment among a thousand that advertises an improvement might just be the one comment worth listening to.


2. The customer is always right

Right? Wrong.

In fact, complaints can sometimes be unjustified, over exaggerated, or just plain unnecessary. Complaints Officers sometimes have to sift through hordes of complaints to find some that actually require immediate attention, constructive thought, or even product or service improvement.

Still, regardless of whether or not your customer's complaint is justified, you must keep in mind that your customer is still always valued. See the difference? not always right, but always valued.

This means that you must approach each and every customer with a sense of professionalism and respect--even if they are sending ridiculous complaints about the color of your pens or the way one of your employee’s hairstyles looks.

Keeping a friendly and helpful demeanor helps to establish a sense of rapport with your customers, and will ultimately lead you to a reputation of excellent customer service in the future--something that no company should take for granted.


3. It's all about finding the solution

Complaints management is all about receiving, investigating and responding to complaints. But is that all there really is to it?

The answer of course, is no. What sets apart complaints management from most fields of endeavor is the fact that it channels negativity into better outcomes, and all from the outside in. By taking customer complaints, suggestions, and comments, complaints management teams have a wealth of knowledge about their products and services that they might not have otherwise recognized.

This knowledge is then taken and used to improve the current system, product, or service, so that it lends itself to a continuous cycle of improvement. The sequence looks like this - complainant submits complaint, you respond to complaints, you fix the original error and work to make sure it doesn't happen again.


4. Service errors aren't related to the product and vice versa

In truth, the exact opposite is usually what occurs. A good amount of service or product errors can be a attributed to a localized source, and the mark of a good complaints management team is the ability to find this source quickly--and with minimal effort.

Say for example, a shipping branch has a faulty wrapping system. Perhaps the boxes are incorrectly packed, so that your product slips around and is delivered in pieces. This shipping branch no doubt ships tens to hundreds to thousands of products per day. Once you find even two complaints that were due to this shipping error, you'll be able to recognize the root cause of the problem and proceed with a corrective action.

It's that simple.


5. Complaints management isn't system based

Our last myth is a pretty big one, and one that more advanced complaints management systems are trying to eradicate today.

In fact, complaints management software offers companies and departments a wide variety of technological tools at their disposal--so that pens and post-its and excel sheets are now a thing of the past.

Complaints Management thus operates under a very organized system, that removes all of the low value adding tasks and allows your staff to concentrate on processing more complaints with the same staff whilst finding and fixing root causes quicker than ever.

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