[Opinion poll] Enhancing customer loyalty and improving customer service means managing complaints
Over the last few months, companies have had to deal with losses due to customer flight, order or appointment cancellations, sometimes on a huge scale. Discover in this article the eight key steps to put in place to ensure a fast and efficient complaint handling process.
When customer service departments are failing to meet customer needs, it leads to many complaints and frustration for both service agents and customers. It is clear that companies stand to benefit from facilitating the complaints process and having an effective end-to-end handling mechanism. Companies should not be scared of their customers' requests. Instead, they should make sure it's easy for everyone to handle, and view complaints as an opportunity to provide exceptional service and build long-term customer loyalty.
Here are the eight key steps to ensuring a timely and efficient grievance handling process:
1. Bringing consistency at the core of your strategy
To efficiently manage the claims process, consistency is essential, regardless of the channel used. In the event that the query requires additional research, it is critical that information flows between different departments within the company. For this reason, companies need to put in place efficient claims handling processes that can handle both simple and complex tasks on a continuous basis. This process will also provide guidance to users on best practices to adopt and address complaints.
2. Enable everyone to file a claim
A company should strive to ensure that its claims handling solution is available to everyone, not just its customers. For some governed industries, such as insurance, this practice is mandatory, but all organizations can implement it. Even if customers are the priority, having an open complaints handling system is essential to understanding your reputation in the marketplace. For example, if you receive numerous complaints about a TV spot or social media post, analyzing and responding to complaints promptly will allow you to adjust strategy or even remove the spot or the related post.
3. Quickly settle claims
The quicker an organization settles a claim, the less likely it is to lose its customers. In regulated industries, many legislations mandate a response time. Such a process needs to be automated in order to ensure that requests are processed in a timely manner.
4. A duplicate check is required
When a customer makes a request, he or she expects a quick response. If it is slow, they are likely to complain again on the same or another channel, thereby inevitably increasing the volume of complaints to be managed. The company must implement an efficient complaint resolution process to reduce the number of customer requests. It is also important to verify the requests filed several times and on different channels. This audit will help to inform the team in charge of processing them and to propose a unique answer to the customer.
5. Open claims to all channels
A customer should be able to file a complaint on any channel: website, email, SMS, social networks or call center. By committing to respond to customers on the channel of their choice, the company will be able to demonstrate quality customer service. Regardless of the origin of the query, it should be easily transferred to the team for resolution. Regardless of the channel, this complaint should have a consistent handling process, and the transfer to the back-office team should be seamless.
6. Handle complaints by email
E-mails are a special case of complaints. They are free-form and can contain several requests. Technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) allow the email to be "read", analyzed and processed by the relevant team. Thus, the use of automation virtually eliminates the waiting time.
7. Informing its customers
Customers, when filing a complaint, should be notified immediately upon receipt and be informed of the progress of the treatment on the channel of their choice. By sending appropriate notifications and updates, the company anticipates customer frustrations that they will not feel left out and will not submit new complaints.
8. Anticipate risks to improve processes
Some highly regulated industries require an effective claims handling process, but any organization can benefit from this strategy. By conducting an audit, the company can understand and analyze the steps taken at each stage of this process to help IT teams identify areas for improvement. In addition, implementing internal audit reports can demonstrate the effectiveness of the claims handling strategy. With an effective process, organizations can reduce the risk of being fined for non-compliance.
A seamless claims process enhances customer loyalty and business value. By retaining existing customers, companies can increase the lifetime value of the customer. Winning a new customer costs between 10% and 60% more than retaining an existing customer. Businesses need to make it easy to file and process an application. An efficient, easy-to-use and frictionless solution can help reduce costs, build customer loyalty, create value and establish a company's reputation for customer service.