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Are You Increasing Customer Complaints By Setting Customer Expectations Too High?

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 210

Whilst it's easy to ignore any complaints that your customers provide you with - there aren't many people who naturally want to hear negative comments - by using customer complaints software to record any issues, react appropriately and analyse them, you should be able to make improvements right across your organisation.

Yet although customer feedback is encouraged, some organisations are actually increasing customer complaints unnecessarily by setting customer expectations too high.

Customers have no problem complaining or providing feedback. They never have done and it's unlikely they ever will do.

However, it has to be remembered that complaints or feedback are only provided if something particularly positive or negative happens throughout their customer journey experience.

Irrelevant of the feedback or complaint, on the most basic level it will be based around the customer's personal expectations of the organisation not being met.

The problem that an increasing amount of organisations are facing is that as they're trying to ensure their customer service is first class and the customer journey is as pleasurable as it can be, they're increasing the bar when it comes to customer expectations.

And the higher the bar is set, the more customers expect, meaning if the organisation doesn't deliver to a customer's new expectation, they're going to be upset, angry and more likely to make a complaint than before.

Using travel agents as an example, as the prices of holidays have increased in recent years, people are still willing to go on holiday, but, understandably, as they're paying more, they expect more. This means that they are more likely to complain on matters they may have previously ignored.

So what's the solution?

As tempting as it can be to try to lower your customers' expectations, this isn't the answer - it will do nothing but continue to increase customer complaints across the board.

Similarly, trying to completely stop customers complaining is likely to be a wasted exercise. Organisations should always aim to please customers, but it's impractical to try and satisfy each and every customer fully.

Therefore, the best solution is seen to be to listen to your customers' complaints and respond to them in a more effective and efficient way than ever before.

Listening to your customers. Recording their issues. Responding to them. Analysing every piece of feedback received. It's imperative this happens even without an increase in customer complaints, but you need to be certain your complaint management processes are capable enough to deal with any influx in feedback.

There's no doubt that by raising your customers' expectations, you'll likely increase complaints, but it needs to always be remembered that your customers will almost always be complaining for a genuine reason, regardless of their expectations.

And whether your customer's expectations mean you're receiving 10 or 10,000 complaints, the information within them can be invaluable.

Looking back at the travel agent example, some of the increased complaints received may be trivial, but they've still caused undue distress to a customer. Some of them might be so minor - or a complete one-off - that nothing can actually be done other than apologising, but the increase in customer complaints might bring with it some genuine issues that need to be dealt with before they escalate further, both in terms of quantity and severity.

It can be difficult managing complaints at any time, not just when they increase in volume. However, with the right customer complaints software and the understanding that you can only benefit from what your customers have to say, no matter how many complaints you receive, you should be able to deal with them in the most positive way possible, for the organisation and the customer.

Source: EzineArticles
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