Useful tips to prevent customer complaints

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Detailed customer reviews can be both a valuable hint and a real nuisance. On the one hand, they allow you to quickly spot emerging problems and prevent customer complaints. On the other, complaints contribute to negative PR, which grows with the amount of unflattering feedback. Disappointed customers, in many cases, will pass the negative feedback on to a wider audience, leading to loss of reputation and attention of potential consumers.

So how to prevent customer complaints?

What are the most common customer complaints about online stores and what to do to prevent them from happening? Learn good practices and forget about unhappy customers.

Top tips to prevent customer complaints. Table of contents:

  1. Is it worth dealing with all the accusations to prevent customer complaints?
  2. What are the common customer complaints about?

Is it worth dealing with all the accusations to prevent customer complaints?

It is worth looking at this issue a little differently: it is the customer who should be the entity leaving the whole transaction fully satisfied. Such an approach to consumer service gives a chance to build more durable and solid bilateral relations. Handling even the most trivial and insignificant complaint can have a positive effect on the company’s reputation.

A customer who was initially dissatisfied with the transaction, after a substantial reference to the problem can quickly change his or her mind and opinion of the company. This will help you prevent customer complaints in the future.

The ability to communicate professionally, even with the angriest customers, is priceless. A skillfully conducted conversation can change the face of the company in the eyes of the recipient, and thus turn customer disappointment into renewed interest.

What are the common customer complaints about?

Consumer frustration can be caused by a variety of factors. In the vast majority of cases, it is possible to counteract risks by acting in advance. This is done through specially developed mechanisms that prevent the occurrence of disputable or irregular situations.

We can distinguish two groups of conditions that hurt the customer’s perception of the company’s service.

  • factors beyond the seller’s control (e.g. courier company delays, storage problems);
  • seller-dependent factors (e.g. inaccurate descriptions on subpages, bad product photos).

Reliable knowledge of all the “weak points”, occurring from the moment of purchasing the product until its receival by the buyer, allows to reduce the chances of a situation that will disappoint the customer. We can group problems into three categories.

Trouble in the shipping process

This is one of the most common dispute situations. An angry customer demands an explanation because his or her parcel has not arrived on time. It is impossible to eliminate this problem: it intensifies during holiday periods and the working days before long weekends.

To prevent customer complaints, provide a tracking option via the tracking number generated by the courier company. Another option is to add an order status checker to your store to estimate the expected shipment time and enable informing the buyer about it on regular basis. It may also happen that a parcel gets lost. Immediately inform the customer about this circumstance and offer a fair equivalent. It can be an express refund or a discount coupon for future purchases.

Inventory difficulties

Shops do not have an infinite amount of goods. It can therefore happen that a customer purchases an item that is sold out at the time of the transaction. It takes a long time for a new business to realize when it is most vulnerable to this situation.

Prevent customer complaints by providing a professional inventory management system. It mainly consists of cataloging each piece of product. This increases awareness of the number of goods in a given unit of time. This is a valuable tool that is particularly helpful in handling demand.

Demand analysis provides answers to questions such as:

  • When is the highest demand for a particular commodity?
  • In what months do sales peak?
  • Are the stock shortages due to the upcoming holidays?

Many online shops use the “notify availability” function, placed on each product subpage. The customer then receives information that new pieces of the product are in stock. Notifications can be sent using the Back in Stock feature, available in the Shopify or App Store, and many similar ones.

Goods not in conformity with the description

A buyer expects the description and photo to match the actual product. There is nothing more disappointing than a piece of clothing, a watch, or a piece of furniture that differs significantly from the original posted on the sales page.

How to prevent customer complaints of this source? Place product photos that have only been taken in high quality. The images should be attractive but shouldn’t cover up imperfections, or worse, be significantly retouched.

It is worth looking at such brands as Nike or Adidas – products included in online catalogs are photographed on a bright, clear background. The consumer is immediately confronted with all the details of the footwear.

Prevent customer complaints by creating or buying quality product descriptions that relate directly to the product being featured. A good practice is to include a table or bullet list that includes detailed parameters of the item (e.g. color, weight, height, size).

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