And although praise is obviously always welcomed, don’t think that complaints can’t be great either. Whilst they obviously have negative connotations, they can also be hugely beneficial when managed correctly.
The issue is that no matter how much we – or anyone else – say feedback management is a necessity, for organisations who have been in business for many years, it can still seem like somewhat of a grey area.
They know things have developed, but they’ve managed until now handling feedback the way they do, so why change?
The simple fact is, if you’re dealing with feedback – whether it’s in the form of praise or complaints – in the most effective way possible, you’ll be able to see clear results and numerous benefits from doing so, with these four being some of the most notable.
1. You stop putting the company at risk
When you’re an organisation governed by a trade association or a regulatory body, you have an obligation to correctly and effectively manage all feedback – particularly complaints – you receive, adhering to strict guidelines at all times. If you don’t do this, you can’t achieve regulatory compliance and instead will risk serious repercussions.
Similarly, although it’s not an obligation, all organisations essentially have a duty to listen to what their customers are telling them – fail to do so and you’ll have next to no understanding of what they’re thinking or more importantly, what they’re wanting, meaning any developments made are based purely on guesswork.
2. You’ll stay ahead of the competition
Organisations today have more of a difficult job standing out from the crowd than at any other point in time. As the internet essentially allows for anyone to setup a website and begin offering products or services, competition in even the most niche of industries can be unbelievably high.
To ensure you stay ahead of your competitors, you need to be delivering the best customer experience you possibly can – and the only way to start doing this is to firstly have a full and comprehensive understanding of what your customers are thinking, something that effectively managing feedback allows you to receive perfectly.
3. You can protect your reputation
Every single customer has a voice and in today’s day and age, they’ll quite happily use it to pass on both praise and complaints.
If you don’t have a feedback management process that works, you don’t have a channel that your customers can use to speak to you about a product or service on – and when you don’t have this, you’re essentially goading them into complaining on public platforms (such as Twitter and Facebook), something that could have a considerably negative impact on your brand’s reputation.
4. You’ll stop missing opportunities
By listening to what your customers are telling you, you’re getting a full and in-depth understanding of what it is they’re thinking. When it comes to complaints, you’ll find out what they don’t like about your organisation, right down to the specifics.
Armed with this knowledge – which is basically the best business intelligence available – you’re able to ensure that you’re not missing any potential opportunities for increasing revenue by, for example, not being active on a certain sales channel or not developing a service to incorporate a much needed technique or approach.
Managing complaints and feedback has always been an important part of business, but not only has the way you need to handle it changed, but the way you can benefit from it has, too.
However, by having in place a process that is effective, you can be confident that you’re benefiting from all customer feedback in the best way possible, with these four positive outcomes just a selection of those you’ll see.