Whether you manage a large company or are a sole trader, your customer complaints are invaluable. No business is perfect and mistakes and misunderstandings happen, they happen to me! By documenting your customer complaints in a log you will turn negative into positive, resulting in an improved customer service and a more profitable business.
The negative value of customer complaints
- Complaints cost you money via credits and lost sales
- Complaints cost you time in resolution
- Complaints not dealt with to your customer’s satisfaction are discussed with their friends and colleagues
- Complaints can cause stress or low morale
The positive value of customer complaints
- Complaints resolved effectively can increase customer loyalty
- Complaints show you where your procedures need to be changed to reduce repeat errors
- Complaints reported to you represent numerous other people who had a similar issue but didn’t tell you
- Complaints are a chance to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied one.
- Complaints show your clients how your business deals with a problem
- Complaints made (and resolved) on social media are seen by your wider networks
- Complaints can identify product improvement, training needs and modifying promotional material
- Complaints resolved generate great word of mouth
How to keep a customer complaint log
Your customer complaint log is a simple record valuable in making sure complaints are handled in a timely manner and do not slip through the cracks. The log provides a learning tool to discover trends and for teaching employees. Your log should include the following:
- The company name (if B2B)
- Contact details of the complainant
- Date the complaint was made
- How the complaint was made (social media, email, phone, walk-in)
- Description of the complaint
- Person responsible for complaint resolution
- Status through to resolution
- Date of resolution
- Complainant contacted – feedback from complainant
- Complaint closed
- Thank you call/card/discount of gift sent where appropriate
Review your complaint log regularly to see what trends or patterns exist and where countermeasures should be taken to prevent future complaints.
If you use a virtual assistant to manage your customer email this is a task they could be doing for you and reporting back to you (for not critical complaints) at the end of the month in their report to you. They’ll be identifying trends, opportunities for improvement and with your permission changing your standard operating procedures to proactively reduce future complaints of the same nature(s).
Download your Customer Complaint Log template on our resources page.