What Is Complaint Management?


Customer complaint management is a crucial part of the overall customer experience. Read on to learn how to develop a complaint management process and how to avoid future complaints.

Customer complaint management refers to the way customer complaints are handled within a company. And since every company inevitably receives complaints, it’s important to have a complaint management process in place to effectively deal with these inquiries.

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While complaints may seem inherently like a negative thing, it’s important to note that when a customer complains, they’re letting you know what’s wrong and giving you the opportunity to rectify the situation. Not all customers will give you that opportunity. By providing a complaining customer with solutions to their problem or some other sort of compensation, you can actually regain their loyalty. Negative feedback can also allow your company to detect flaws within its products or services and improve the quality for future customers.

It’s absolutely crucial to provide customer with a good experience once they’ve complained, because according to the Zendesk Trends Report:

50% of consumers will switch to a competitor after one bad experience, and 80% will switch to a competitor after more than one bad experience.

Maintaining effective complaint management

Complaint management is most effective when you have a procedure that's precise and consistent. From the initial acknowledgment and assessment of it, through the investigation and response, to the final follow up with the customer, staff should be made aware of exactly how to deal with each step of this process to ensure consistency within your company. While every company’s process for managing complaints will look a little bit different, here are some general guidelines for an effective complaint management process:

  • Acknowledge the problem and empathize with the customer (some people simply want to feel heard!)

  • Reiterate the problem so you and the customer are both on the same page

  • Investigate what went wrong and why

  • Follow up and make it right (fix the problem and/or offer something extra)

The impact of complaint management on customer service

Complaint management is an integral part of the customer experience. Customers are the most important thing to your business and doing everything in your power to keep them happy is vital. Effective complaint management helps your business reduce customer dissatisfaction and strengthens a customer's loyalty to your business. What’s more, when your business's process is good enough, a customer's negative feedback will reach the relevant departments and help your business to improve its operations.

By analyzing your customer complaints, your company can take a proactive approach to future complaints. Anticipating problems before they can occur is one of the most effective ways to surprise and delight your customers, generate loyalty, and make the customer experience smoother.

Learn how to analyze your  historical customer support data and find your automation potential with the CS Automation Explorer.

Get ahead of the trends

Read more about proactive customer support in our free guide on the latest Customer Service Trends