Customer Complaints_nlighten article_March_2019

Customer Complaints: Where Did it All Go So Right?

There’s a great misconception in the business world that for consumer satisfaction everything must go 100% smoothly. This isn’t possible or plausible – no person, product or business is infallible. The pinnacle of customer experience excellence is, of course, providing a product or service that exceeds expectations – that goes without saying. But, what is equally important is accepting that Murphy’s law is real: What can go wrong will. What counts is how you handle it when it does, and even more crucially how you handle it before it does.

It is important to change your mindset about customer complaints and issues and see them as a gift and an opportunity to get things right. Better yet, proactively seeking out and inviting communication about complaints can be a game changer. Instead of hiding your customer service details at the bottom of your website, give them pride of place. Giving your customers a clear and simple path to resolving their complaint can end up enhancing their overall experience beyond the positivity of it going smoothly in the first place.

Give your customers an avenue to explore their discontent, preventing them from venting their spleens about you online.

A great example of a company who stands out as really nailing this concept is Anker, the electronics firm that is the brainchild of some ex-Google whizzkids. They specialise in charging products but have expanded their repertoire to include other electronics.

I was looking to buy a bluetooth speaker for a friend, and was particularly taken with the Amazon reviews for one of Anker’s offerings. In particular, a review from a customer whose speaker hadn’t met their expectations based on the glowing reviews from other customers. This buyer posted a review reflecting his disappointment on Amazon and within hours had been contacted by Anker directly and had an upgraded product (which he described as awesome) shipped to him. He was impressed, and shared his experience online – leaving me impressed enough to buy.

I can now see personally why Anker get this experience so right.

Within a few days of my purchase being delivered, I too received contact directly from them checking in that I was happy with my purchase, reminding me of my 18 month warranty and giving me lots of methods of contacting them should I not be entirely satisfied.

Within the box of the product itself was a cute little booklet. On one side it said ‘Happy?’ and when you opened it, invited you to post a positive review on Amazon or share on social media. On the flipside, it said ‘Not Happy?’ and reiterated the ways I could contact them to resolve the problem.

I feel confident that if I wasn’t entirely satisfied I would have felt validated and cared about, and that the complaints procedure would have lived up to my expectations. Thankfully, the product was as great as my customer experience, and here I am not only sharing my experience on social media but blogging about it on my business website.

It may seem counterintuitive to be so proactive in presuming that your customer might have a problem with your product, but this example shows that it reeks of confidence in the quality of their products. Through solving a problem before it even exists, the inconvenience of being disappointed by a product can be outweighed by a customer-focused, smooth and effortless complaints procedure, resulting in an ultimately enhanced customer experience.

Will the customer who received the upgraded product based on his disappointed review go on to purchase from Anker again? I’d be pretty certain of it. That complaint was a gift that keeps on giving.

nlighten are customer experience experts committed to helping our clients see the world through their clients’ eyes and optimize their customer experience. For more insights on how you can positively impact how your customers feel about you, speak to us.

View the previous nlighten article by Nathalie Schooling: Tipping Point

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