When Customer Complaints are a Good Thing

No call center likes to hear complaints. But the sentiments of unhappy customers provide valuable data into a company’s products and services. 

Obviously, if a call center receives too many negative calls, it’s a sign that changes are needed. But if a call center receives almost no complaints, that’s not necessarily an indication that everything is wonderful. 

According to Lee Resource, for every customer complaint, there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent. And a Financial Training Services study found that 96% of unhappy customers will not share their frustration with a company – they’ll just take their business elsewhere. 

And while some customers may not give negative feedback to a company, they will write negative reviews on Facebook, and on other online review sites. 

Why do they stay quiet? At some companies, the process of filing a complaint is too complicated (perhaps by design?) to be worth the effort. 

Some people just don’t feel comfortable expressing themselves that way. Others believe complaining doesn’t really accomplish anything. And some worry that if they identify an employee who did not provide good service, it might result in that employee being out of work. They might be upset, but they don’t want to be responsible for someone else getting fired. 

The bottom line: call centers may be missing out on negative feedback that could result in positive changes and better service. That is why it is important to make it as easy as possible for customers to share feedback and complaints – and to be proactive and solicit their opinions, good or bad. This can be achieved anonymously online, through surveys sent via email, or on social media. 

Don’t be afraid to ask how a customer would rate the service he or she received, why they chose that rating, and whether they would be open to being contacted for more information. When a customer feels their opinion really matters to a company, they are more likely to remain a customer.