Top Customer Complaints & How to Stay Ahead of Them

2023-03-20

Customers are the key to your business. When they have complaints, it can quickly create a lot of issues that you weren’t prepared for. Even one bad Google review can do a lot more damage than you realize, which is why it’s important to take a proactive approach to customer service and customer relationships. When it comes to monitoring quality control, the gauge of customer satisfaction is one of the purest measurements that you have. For that reason alone, it’s essential to stay ahead of complaints and focus on continuous improvement of the customer experience. 

The secret is to understand that every business is going to deal with customer complaints at one point or another. It’s how you deal with them that matters. Each different issue will take a different approach based on the complaint itself as well as how it was expressed (review, phone call, email, etc.). To that end, here are some of the most common customer complaints and how you can handle them or try to avoid them entirely. 

Complaint: Long wait times 

One of the most popular customer complaints is that they have to wait too long on the phone or to get a response via email when they contact a company. Long wait times may signal that you have an excess of complaints to handle, or at the very least will make people feel unimportant because there is no urgency in addressing their needs. 

You can resolve this by adding to your customer service team or streamlining the communication processes that take place in your business. You can also opt to outsource to a third-party virtual receptionist service like Smith.ai to help you field more calls in less time (more on that later). Whatever you do, make sure that customers are getting quick responses. That should be less than two minutes of waiting on the phone, less than 4 hours for a social media response, and less than 12 hours for an email response. The faster, the better. 

Complaint: Lack of information 

In the digital age, more people are complaining about those businesses that have a limited website or a lacking design that needs improvement. While it might have been possible to get away with a basic site in the past, that’s no longer effective. In addition to fully explaining what your business is and what it does, your website also needs to include information about all of your products and/or services, the costs, and anything else that’s relevant. 

You should also include plenty of contact information, readily available on all pages of your website. Have social media profiles that are complete and offer people the insight they need, and make sure that you take advantage of directory listings, your Google Business Profile, and other resources that can help you offer more information to your audience. 

Complaint: Repeating problems 

When customers reach out and have a complaint, they want it to be addressed and resolved in the quickest way possible. They don’t want to be transferred three times and have to explain their situation again each time. Even if transferring a customer to someone else is part of the solution, you should try to connect internally first and explain the situation to save the customer the trouble. 

Help desk software can also help you manage and distribute calls so that the right people will get them the first time. This can reduce the risk that people will end up having to repeat themselves to get results. Every time someone has to repeat themselves, their frustration level rises and their satisfaction level decreases. Therefore, you want to eliminate this entirely if you can. 

Complaint: Lack of follow up 

In addition to response times, the total lack of follow-up is another complaint that people have. Some people will expect regular updates or more frequent check-ins than others. What people expect (or what they want) will depend on how your reps handle the interaction. Make sure that your team is trained on how to be clear and direct to explain response times and the process involved. 

It is imperative to make sure that expectations and communications are clear at all times. Find out, too, what kind of communication works best for the customer. Some people like phone calls while others prefer email. If you need to communicate in a different way for some reason, explain why so that (again) people know what to expect. Most of the complaints about follow-up can be resolved with a little more diligence in explaining the process. 

Complaint: Lack of consistency

One final thing that customers complain about often is the lack of consistency they experience with a company. Some companies have a lack of processes in place or limited training that leaves agents to attempt to figure out the best course of action on their own. Developing your own set of internal best practices and training everyone on them can avoid this issue. 

Consistency also comes in delivering the same type and caliber of service to every customer, every time. That includes whether it’s over the phone, via email, or chat. Your service and its consistency will impact your reputation in more ways than you realize. 

A better solution could be to outsource calls to the experts 

If most of your issues are coming from the fact that you’re not equipped to handle the call volume coming your way, you’re not alone. You also don’t have to try to handle it internally—if you’re not ready to add to the team, outsourcing could be the way to go. When you need a 24/7 answering service, you can count on the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai. 

Of course, we do more than just answer calls. We can also assist with lead intake, appointment scheduling, and other needs. Plus, we’ll help you create a custom strategy to manage it all and make sure that you always know what’s going on. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai

Tags:
Sales Development
Written by Samir Sampat
Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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