Frivolous Customer Complaints: Why Investigate Them?
Having a business that never receives a consumer complaint sounds like a dream. But it’s one that isn’t based on reality. The truth is that nearly all businesses will receive complaints at one time or another, even frivolous customer complaints. There is no business that can please all of its customers, all of the time. It’s not so much the problem of getting a consumer complaint that is the issue. The larger issue is how your business investigates customer complaints once they are received.
Letting consumer complaints go unaddressed can have negative consequences. Consider, for example, that the Better Business Bureau reported that during 2012 there were roughly 950,000 complaints lodged with them. By the end of the year, its statistics show that 193,000 of them were never resolved. That’s a lot of customers who walked away unhappy, which may have led to even more problems.
It is important to investigate even the frivolous customer complaints that your company receives. Here are few reasons why:
- Regulation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an example of what happens when an industry doesn’t keep up with consumer complaints. While the CFPB regulates only the financial services industry, consumer complaints as a whole may become more regulated by a government agency to ensure that the consumer’s interest is being considered.
- Reputation. To build and maintain a good reputation your business will need to resolve as many consumer complaints as possible. The more people you have walking around unhappy, the more detrimental it can be to your business. Investigating and addressing consumer complaints gives you an opportunity to maintain a good and fair reputation.
- Reduce risks. Not taking the time to investigate a consumer complaint increases risks for your company. It could end up leading to a lawsuit, as well as the increase in risk that results from problems that are not being addressed properly.
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- Keep a customer. It costs a lot more to go out and get new customers than it does to try to keep the ones you already have. By addressing a consumer complaint you have a good chance of keeping that customer. Most people who have complaints just want to know your company cares enough to at least look into and try to address it to the best of your ability. Keep in mind, word of mouth is still the most powerful advertising around.
- Make improvements. When you get consumer complaints, even ones that may seem trivial or frivolous, try to see it as an opportunity to make improvements. If someone took the time to complain, it may mean there is an issue that can be made better. You will only know by taking the time to properly investigate it.
Good customer service is the cornerstone of every successful business. But you can’t have that without also caring about and addressing consumer complaints you receive. Use a system that establishes and enforces standards for your business, makes the process efficient, and reduces administrative tasks, such as a case management software solution for tracking and investigating customer complaints. Once you have the system down it will work like a well oiled machine and help keep your business on top.