Being perfect is impossible – your business will never get things right 100% of the time. There will be moments when mistakes are made or orders don’t live up to customer expectations. Sometimes, things are out of your control – like delays with shipping companies – but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re dealing with customer complaints as quickly as possible.
According to recent research, 46% of customers expect a response time within 4 hours. If you’re responding later than that, it looks really bad on your business and can hamper your reputation. So, we’ve got some strategies and tips to help you handle any complaint ASAP.
Ensure you’re tracking all orders
Every order that’s placed via your store should be automatically tracked. If you are using a platform like Shopify, it will already have this feature built-in. This will mean every order is presented to you via a dashboard, complete with order numbers.
This is crucial as you’ll need customers to provide order numbers when they complain. You can use this to find the order, so there are no delays in spotting what they ordered and seeing what they’re complaining about. Without tracking, it can be so much harder to find orders before you even begin trying to solve their problem.
You should also take inspiration from other industries here, like field technicians. They will often use a technician mobile app that gives them complete information about customers and upcoming jobs. Your eCommerce business should have something similar that tells your customer service team about each order, who placed it, what their contact details are, where they live, etc. Being armed with this information helps you make faster decisions as you don’t have to keep asking questions to get all of this contact info.
Sync with shipping companies
Most complaints will focus on shipping or delivery times. Someone orders a product, and it doesn’t arrive in time. Or, they order something, and it gets damaged in transit. In either of these cases, you can’t provide solutions if you don’t know what happened to the product while it was shipped. This is why you need to implement ideas that help you sync up with shipping companies to keep track of the order as it gets to the customer.
As a result, you can literally watch where the orders are at any given time. This helps you provide customers with instant updates on delays, so they’re not left waiting in the dark.
Request that all companies shipping your orders take photos before and after products are delivered too. If you see a product was in good condition before being loaded onto a delivery truck, yet the photo shows it was damaged when delivered to the customer, you can assume that the delivery driver was responsible. This helps you figure out who to contact to take action.
Offer 24/7 support
The previous two ideas will help you handle customer complaints a lot faster. However, there’s still the issue of customer waiting for you to see their issues. If they complain in the evening, will you see it before the next day? There’s a chance they could be left hanging overnight, which increases their frustrations.
Instead, you should offer 24/7 customer support via your website. This is done via live chat services. Many companies exist that you can outsource this service to. They have teams of real people chatting away with customers and dealing with their concerns.
Or, you could make your own in-house team of chatters. It’s up to you, but the important point is that customers get seen right away. They can post a complaint in the chat box and receive an update almost immediately.
This doesn’t mean the problem will be solved right away, but it at least tells them that things have been noted and you are working on a solution. It’s far better than a customer submitting a complaint via email and not hearing back for twelve hours.
Successful businesses learn how to deal with customer complaints without keeping people waiting. If a customer is waiting around for ages, they’ll become even unhappier. This decreases their chances of returning while increasing the possibility of them leaving negative reviews. That’s why it’s so critical to understand how to handle these problems without delays.
To recap, ensure you have some system or app that lets you track and store every order with all the order details. At the same time, make sure you are synced with any shipping or delivery services so you (and your customers) can track their orders during transit. Finally, implement 24/7 customer service to make customers feel seen and heard the moment they have an issue.