In the modern digital era, criticism has become timeless irrespective of the size, type, or nature of an organization. Customer complaints arise from multiple forms such as unexpected phone calls, an undesirable tweet, a negative in-person encounter, and numerous scathing online reviews. It is significant to respond to customer complaints by implementing strategic actions to change the perceptions and reinforce a positive brand image.
Increasingly, organizations are collaborating with Public Relations Agencies to foster effective strategies and campaigns towards uplifting brands. Public Relations companies help overcome customer complaints and negative responses by initiating effective PR campaigns to boost company image and reputation.
What are customer complaints?
According to the Service Recovery Paradox, a customer complaint is a negative sign for an organization, a disconnect between what a customer expects and the ideal outcome delivered by a company. It is essential to handle customer complaints methodically to safeguard the company. It will enable the company to eliminate deleterious reputation and exposure to negative consequences.
In a world dominated by social media marketing and word-of-mouth promotion, it is significant to equip the marketing department with a customer complaint management team. This team must foster a standardized process for sourcing, listening, responding to, and fixing customer dissatisfaction and complaints.
How to handle and respond to Customer Complaints?
It is highly essential to build a roadmap for generating effective strategies to respond to customer complaints that would come in through multiple mediums. It is vital to address each customer complaint efficiently by adopting well-tailored approaches to achieve customer satisfaction and loyalty. There are five steps for handling customer complaints;
• Step 01- Listen and Analyze the customer complaints
It is highly advisable to dig deep into the underlying roots leading to customer complaints. The company must allocate full attention to identify the negative issues by inculcating Socratic questioning to discover the root cause of dissatisfaction. Many factors are leading to customer dissatisfaction. These include higher price range, service outage, quality defects products that lead to express frustration.
• Step 02- Identify and understand the type of customer who has made the complaint
Customers incorporate different beliefs, attitudes, and desires that lead to different perceptions and behavioral outcomes. Therefore, it is vital to understand the type of customer to determine the most suitable response strategy. For instance, customers who fall under the affluent class will expect premium support.
• Step 03- Generate effective responses and actions
It is significant to generate speedy responses before customers start spreading negative word-of-mouth marketing. Complaints must be resolved professionally with respect, empathy, and transparency. Honesty plays a major role in resolving complaints as it will build trust and a positive impression between the customer and company. Customer complaints must be effectively prioritized to give attention to severe complaints. The customer complaint
• Step 04- Clearly Outline the Complaint Management Plan
It is essential to develop and articulate an effective plan to devise the complaint management strategy by outlining the major actions that will be implemented to resolve the complaints. This will describe how the situation will be resolved and how it will be prevented from recurring over again. It is vital to employ effective corporate communication services to re-shape the negative impression customers have regarding the company.
• Step 05- Say Thank you and offer follow-up information
Once the complaint is sufficiently addressed and resolved, the company must reach out and thank the customer for their feedback. This will stimulate a positive impression leading to boost customer loyalty and offers a good opportunity to reinforce an exquisite image of the company.
The role of the Public Relations Agency in resolving customer complaints
Public Relations companies in Sri Lanka inculcates a Combination of cutting-edge technology and human editorial judgment to deliver accurate information to resolve customer complaints by initiating news releases, conducting live stream events to change customer perception by employing influencer marketing.
Public Relations agencies in Sri Lanka incorporate effective corporate communication services to help organizations communicate their brand values and stories exquisitely and credibly. They Customize approaches to deliver significant information to boost customer satisfaction and overcome a negative reputation.
It is highly recommended that brands and businesses partner with a reputed PR Agency, since they will need the right expertise and experience in this area in order to have an effective strategy.