Customer Service Glossary
Table of Contents

    What Is Complaint Resolution?

    Complaint resolution is a business process that customer support departments employ to manage and resolve complaints. When designed and implemented correctly, complaint resolution policies enable agents to provide a solution to questions, concerns, or complaints efficiently and satisfactorily. 

    Businesses may receive complaints for countless reasons, ranging from customer preference to personal circumstances to disconnects between marketing copy and the actual product or service. Regardless of the reason behind the complaint, companies should address each concern and attempt to provide a suitable solution. 

    Why Is Complaint Resolution Important for Customer Service?

    Complaint resolution processes empower customer support agents to do two things. First, the guidelines and policies guide each agent as they restore a customer’s relationship with your brand. Secondly, complaint resolution strategies lower customer dissatisfaction and churn rates.

    Complaint resolution impacts customer support departments in several other ways as well, including: 

    1. Lower Costs

    The Harvard Business Review found that companies spend 25 times more on new customer acquisition than retaining current customers. However, if a consumer has an unpleasant experience with your brand, they are more than 90% likely to move on to one of your competitors. 

    On the other hand, a study from Glance Networks found that 70% of shoppers would return to a company following a complaint that customer service agents resolved in the customer’s favor. With this in mind, it pays to develop a comprehensive complaint resolution system. 

    2. Improved Customer Retention Rates

    Consumers purchase products or services to fulfill a need. That said, if they have an unpleasant experience with your product or service, the need still exists. Without a robust complaint resolution process in place, customers will fulfill their needs somewhere else, as mentioned above. 

    By prioritizing customer satisfaction and complaint resolution, support departments have a high likelihood of retaining a loyal shopper and potentially gaining more. 

    3. Higher Customer Satisfaction Scores

    Finally, robust complaint resolution strategies often result in higher customer satisfaction scores, as indicated by a Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT) or Net Promoter Score®. Further, customers often go on to spend more on purchases in the future after having their complaints resolved favorably. 

    How to Develop An Effective Complaint Resolution Strategy

    Developing an effective customer complaint resolution strategy requires a significant amount of time and energy for customer success managers. To ensure that the terms of your guidelines will equip your customer support department adequately, consider the following steps. 

    1. Focus On the Customer

    When a customer submits a complaint, it can be tempting to send an automated, impersonal response. Instead, focus on each customer as an individual and each complaint as a high priority. Your clients will feel seen and valued when your agents treat a customer like a person instead of a faceless number. 

    Begin each conversation with a sincere apology. Accept responsibility for the concern, no matter if it seems unfounded. Most importantly, respond quickly, kindly, and patiently. 

    2. Determine A Solution

    Customers often vent to support agents, which may leave the agent unsure of how to proceed. Instead of getting lost in a steady stream of complaints, focus on the areas that can lead to a solution. Ask the customer for more information on what went wrong, clarify their concerns, and encourage them to suggest a solution to the problem. 

    3. Learn From the Process

    Customer complaints are more than frustrated messages or phone calls. Instead, each consumer communication represents an opportunity to improve your support programs. To ensure that common complaints aren’t left unresolved, incorporate documentation systems and update them regularly. 

    Creating Complaint Resolution Guidelines and Policies For Customer Service Departments

    Managing customer satisfaction is a complex and evolving process. Even so, comprehensive complaint resolution processes make it easier for support departments to retain loyal shoppers, resolve customer complaints, and boost brand perception without the risk of losing long-term clients. 

    Related Resources and Information