Dealing With Complaints

I decided to split the topic of “Dealing with complaints and using them to your advantage” into two posts. Tomorrow’s post will talk about how to use complaints to your advantage.

A good part of dealing with complaints is covered in the previous post. That explains how to deal with a complaint. Though the previous post primarily addresses the etiquette of dealing with complaints, there’s some more things to consider.

Log and categorize.
Log and categorize all complaints. Use the categories appropriately. For example, if the customer complains about both customer service and billing support, put a copy of the complaint in both folders. (The Web 2.0 term would be tagging.) The better you categorize these issues, the more of an idea you’ll have about what you need to improve.

Record all complaints.
You should record every complaint. Even if the customer mentions something subtle like “Response was a bit slow, but I guess you did respond.” record that just like you would a three page letter talking about slow response times.

Include what was done.
In your file of complaints, record a note about what was done to resolve each issue. That way, employees can search through the database of customer complaints and see how they were handled. You’re essentially created a knowledge base of complaints.

The other big parts of dealing with complaints is responding to and following up on complaints. Those will be covered later in the series. A very short post today, but I can’t put the entire series in one post – that’d ruin it for everyone.

New Category: There’s a new category called behind the scenes. This talks about what your company can do behind the scenes to improve customer service and the customer service experience.