Sometimes feedback comes in form of praises that give you a good feeling and motivates you to do more of the same. Other times, it comes as a stern dressing down with sharpened tone and barely contained contempt. All in all you should embrace the thought of Feedback as a gift.
It is in your best interest to learn how to dissect the criticism you might receive from your customers and use this to improve how you conduct your business. Take some time to discover how customer complaints can take your business to the next level.
Be ready to listen- Customers launch into complaint mode at different times and through various complain channels available to them. Most customers always result to using social media as their channel of complaint—thereby ensuring that someone does hear about it.
As a customer tells you his reason(s) for complaining, listen for a few key things, beginning with tone and temperament. This will clue you in to how long your customer has been dissatisfied, if he has been dissatisfied with you or your product before, and if he feels he will get proper attention and response to his problem.
Secondly, listen for the customer's willingness to let you resolve the matter. This is an important indicator that tells you his interest in your product, service and business method. If this is a repeat customer, this indicates he's been satisfied before but this time something is not to his liking.
With first-time customers, their willingness is a sign you offer something desirable or otherwise useful. They want to buy what you are selling. If they are not willing to peacefully resolve the matter, then something has gone seriously wrong.
Get them talking, even if they'll shout- The best way to understand a customer's complaint is to get him to talk about it. You should ensure to give all of your customers the opportunity to tell you about your business from their perspective.
These days, the best method to encourage and collect customer feedback is via a phone call. While you may not be able to call all your customers for feedback you should ensure to answer when they call.
Social media is another venue where customers can interact with you and get fast responses to their inquiries. For some customers, this is actually the preferable method since some are more comfortable with chat messages than face-to-face conversation.
The more ways your customers have to get in touch with you, the more opportunities you have to discover what issues they might be having and what you might do to improve their experiences.
Most important aspect to notice about customer complaints is- If there are several that center on a particular aspect of your business- This proves that a process or product isn't up to par and if left unchecked, it could cost you customer.
(Culled from auctiva.com “Customer Complaints are Gold”)