PwC Research shows that 80% of American customers believe knowledgeable help, convenience, and speed are integral elements of customer support. Keeping that in mind, working with a complaint management system that's flexible enough to integrate into your company's current customer service setup is essential.
Doing so allows you to customize the complaint management process to meet the needs of your business and customers. But what exactly should your complaint management system do? How can you use it to its full potential? Here are your answers.
What Is a Customer Complaint Management System?
A customer complaint management system is a software application designed to help businesses manage, track, and resolve customer complaints.
The system makes it easy to log customer complaints, route them to the appropriate department or individual for resolution, and track progress until the complaint is resolved. In some cases, the system may also provide customers with a self-service portal where they can check the status of their complaints and submit additional information if needed.
Importance of a Customer Complaint Management System
It's already concerning that only 44% of the customers actually complain to the brand about a negative experience. Of those who do, if most don't get their complaints resolved in due time, businesses risk losing a ton of revenue.
It doesn't stop there. 86% of your customers will leave after just two bad experiences. In a survey, 49% of the respondents admitted they'd left a brand they were loyal to due to poor customer experience in the past year.
With such a broad disconnect between consumer expectations and the company's ability to deliver, businesses need to start paying attention to their customer complaint management process. After all, happy customers are the backbone of any business.
There are many reasons to use a customer complaint management system, including:
Increased Customer Satisfaction: Businesses can promptly address customer complaints and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Improved Productivity: The system can automate and streamline the complaint management process, saving valuable time and resources.
Reduced Operating Costs: By addressing complaints quickly and efficiently, businesses can avoid potential legal and regulatory issues resulting in expensive penalties.
What Are the Four Types of Customer Complaints?
Although customer complaints can vary significantly in terms of severity and topic, they generally fall into one of four categories:
Product or Service Issues: Customers may have issues with the quality or performance of a product or service. Sometimes, the product may not meet their expectations or may be defective.
Billing or Pricing Issues: Customers may have questions or concerns about their bill or product or service pricing.
Account Management Issues: If you provide a service, your customers could have issues with their accounts, such as login problems or difficulty accessing account information.
Customer Service Issues: Good customer service is essential to keeping your customers happy. If they have a bad experience, they're likely to file a complaint.
Customer Complaint Management System Features: What Should the Software Do?
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An efficient and reliable customer complaint management system should have specific abilities to ensure you can resolve the customers' complaints effectively. Here are some must-haves in a sound customer complaint management system.
Ability to Track and Report on Customer Complaints
First and foremost, the complaint management software you choose should be able to track and report on customer complaints. In this way, you can identify problem areas and work on resolving them.
The system should also generate various reports, such as the number of complaints received per month or day, the average resolution time, etc.
The information can be beneficial in identifying problem areas and improving your complaint management process. For example, you might want to focus on reducing the resolution time if it is too long.
Some customer complaints are undeniably more urgent than others. For example, if Customer A is complaining about a broken product, it is likely more urgent than Customer B's complaint about a slow website.
Thus, your customer complaint management system should have a way to prioritize cases so you can resolve the more urgent complaints first and avoid any potential escalations.
Integration with Other Systems
Ideally, your customer complaint management system should be able to integrate with other systems, such as your CRM system, help desk system, etc.
It will save you the hassle of re-entering data into multiple systems and make the complaint management process much more efficient.
Ability to Customize Workflows
No two businesses are the same. So the customer complaint management system must be flexible enough to accommodate your unique business processes.
The system should allow you to customize the workflows to match your needs. For example, you might want to add an approval step for certain types of complaints.
Or you might want to create different workflows for different types of complaints.
Role-Defined Levels of Access
Another imperative feature of a customer complaint system is the ability to restrict access to only those employees who require it.
Depending on the sensitivity of the data and processes involved, an organization may opt to give employees different access levels.
The most common type of access restriction is role-based access control (RBAC). With RBAC, access is based on the principle of least privilege, meaning that an employee should only have the level of access required to perform their job duties.
For example, a customer service representative may only need read-only access to view customer records when managing customer complaints. On the other hand, a customer service manager can have read and write access to update records as complaints are resolved.
How to Make the Most of a Customer Complaint Management System?
Besides the inherent functionality of a customer complaint management system, the way you use it also impacts its performance. You can do a few things to make the most of your investment and ensure that it's working as effectively as required.
Curate a Comprehensive Customer Complaint Management Policy
A complaints management policy defines how your company will receive and manage customer complaints. It should detail the various channels through which customers can lodge their complaints and the specific timeframe within which each complaint must be resolved.
The policy should also include the roles and responsibilities of each team member involved in the complaints management process. It will ensure that everyone knows their duties.
Furthermore, the policy should establish a feedback loop to ensure that the customer is updated on the status of their complaint and notified when it had been resolved.
The feedback loop is essential to maintain transparency and build trust with the customer. It also allows you to measure the effectiveness of your complaints management system and make necessary improvements.
Leverage the Analytics Dashboard
Most customer complaint management systems have an analytics dashboard that provides valuable insights into the complaints received. The data collected can identify patterns and trends in customer behavior.
A complaint management software's analytics typically show the following:
Most common complaints
Complaint resolution time
Customer satisfaction ratings
Number of assigned tickets
Number of unassigned tickets
Average first response time
You should use this information to improve your product or service and prevent similar complaints from being received in the future.
For example, if the insights show that a particular type of complaint is being received frequently, you can take steps to address the issue and prevent it from happening again.
Let's say you have an app or a website. Most of your customer complaints are around the app's clunky functioning or poor interface.
The analytics dashboard will show you how many complaints you get about this issue per month or week. In this way, you can also identify other shortcomings in your product or service and improve it accordingly.
Aim for First Contact Resolution
If you want to avoid or minimize escalations, the best thing you can do is aim for first contact resolution. In other words, try resolving the customer's complaint during the first interaction.
You can only accomplish this if the customer support team has all the necessary information and resources at their disposal. They should be able to quickly access the customer's purchase history, account details, and previous interactions.
Furthermore, they should have the authority to resolve the issue without going through a lengthy escalation process.
Invest in Training
It's important to invest in training for the customer support team to help them use the customer complaint management system effectively.
They should be familiar with all the features and functions of the system and know how to use them to resolve customer complaints efficiently.
The team should also be trained on how to handle difficult customer interactions. For instance, you should train them to defuse a situation and prevent it from escalating.
There's no denying that a reliable customer complaint management system is a necessity for every business. Whether you're a B2B or B2C company, you must manage customer complaints effectively.
A reliable complaint management system will have role-defined access, customization options, case prioritization, and an analytics dashboard.
You can get the most out of such a complaint management system by following a few best practices, such as using the analytics dashboard, investing in training, and improving first contact resolution.