People hate complaints. That’s a fact. The hatred for them has gone so far to the point that those who make them plenty are treated like mortal sinners. However, do you think such an attitude is really good for business? How about in CRM software? If complaints are so awful, why is there a need to store them as data? Do you really think that treating them with this attitude will positively affect the way you generate software leads?
Well, it won’t.
Remember, handling complaints is supposed to be part of what CRM does. Hence, it’s logical to assume that your software is supposed to help businesses handle them as part of their tasks. The way you treat complaints will reflect on both your software and in your own dealings with your software clients. As far as the latter is concerned, your treatment will definitely affect your success with your software leads.
Now here two of the worst ways you can respond to a complaint:
“If it’s such a problem for you, then do something about it.”
Why would they be calling you if this was a problem that they could solve on their own? Better yet, what if they could solve it but they’re looking to you for guidance? A common idea about complaints is that those who make them the most are the laziest to solve the problem. People who think this way, respond in the manner above. The truth is the ones who immediately have that response are the ones who are really lazy. They’re too lazy to consider the possibility that:
- The customer may already be in the process of doing something about it but needs your support.
- The customer’s business is still new to using software for CRM so you should be ready to help because you’re the expert.
- The complaint could indicate an unseen flaw in your software or an entirely new problem altogether.
“I’m sorry but that’s beyond our control.”
Really? Are you so sure of your incapacity? Maybe this response will find some validity in the end but it’s still not a good idea to set this as a knee-jerk reaction to every complaint. A better reaction would be a FAQ page because then, you would have at least identified some common complaints and set up guidelines for customers to help themselves with.
First, you need to investigate thoroughly and really make sure that the problem is out of your hands. Here are some suggestions:
- Outsource a software call center and use live, well-informed agents, who can help them troubleshoot the software.
- Set an appointment if the problem can be solved but its complexity and that of the solution’s warrants discussion.
- Use social media as your eyes and ears for common problems and as another means to discuss it with both prospects and current customers.
What people have forgotten about complaints is that they’re supposed to indicate that something is wrong. And whether a problem is big or small, helping a customer resolve it is part of what CRM is supposed to do. Customers with complaints shouldn’t be treated like ‘whiners’ who have to be shown the door the moment they come in. They’ll just be taking their complaints outside for other businesses to hear them. And when they hear them, it will affect the way they’ll see your business. These include the businesses you’ve already qualified for leads. If you don’t want them to revoke their hard-earned approval, then start handling complaints properly and with respect.