Why Do Customers Complain?
Customers complain when they feel frustrated.
That doesn’t mean that customers only complain when they can’t do something. Frustration happens any time the results of an action don’t match the expectation—when you do something and it doesn’t turn out how you thought it would.
These frustrating moments can occur at any point in your customer’s shopping experience.
You need to anticipate and eliminate these opportunities for frustration, so that your customers can discover, purchase, and enjoy your products without hitting any roadblocks (and without sending you a complaint about their less-than-stellar experience).
The Most Common Sources of Frustration for Customers
While complaints can take many forms, there are a few key things that can leave customers dissatisfied if they aren’t handled properly. If you can master these critical issues, your business will start getting less complaints and more happy customers instead.
Keeping your customers happy is all about managing expectations. Most customer complaints are caused by a disconnect between expectation and reality, so you need be able to more accurately align your customers’ expectations with likely outcomes.
Despite your best efforts, you may still get customer complaints from time to time.
It’s important to not let these complaints eat away at you. Instead, see them as a chance to make your store better. Try to look past the negative feedback and uncover the lesson at the core of the complaint.
Remember: If someone is complaining, it means they’re looking for a solution.
They aren’t trying to hurt you. They aren’t out to get you. They’re frustrated and they need help.
As a business owner, it might not be your fault, but it is your responsibility. You need to deal with these complaints and find a solution that works.
It isn’t always easy to come up with the right words, especially if you’re dealing with a particularly emotionally-charged message. But with the right templates, writing a response can be a lot less stressful.
It’s crucial that you don’t just copy and paste these templates verbatim. Customers can spot a canned response from a mile away. Instead, use them as a guide for crafting a helpful and unique email.
Here are three basic email templates that you can use as a jump-off point for responding to complaints.
1. The Proactive Response
If you notice something wrong with a customer’s order, you need to reach out to them to let them know that you’ve corrected it—even if they haven’t complained about it yet.
If you really want to let them know you care, include a discount code to make sure they come back again and that their faith in your store hasn’t been shaken by a minor misstep.
2. The Yes Response
If a customer complains, you need to be able to resolve their issue quickly and competently.
According to American Express, 60% of customers always share their negative customer service experiences, meaning it sometimes only takes one instance of poor customer service to start a bad reputation for your brand. That’s a risk you can’t take.
Instead, you need to use empathy and a little creativity to come up with a solution that will satisfy your customer and keep them coming back.
3. The No Response
In some scenarios, there might not be a solution for your customer’s problem.
Sometimes customers will have negative feedback about things like design or product updates that there will be no immediate solution for. However, these can be great opportunities for learning more about how customers use your products and how your business can grow in the future.
As long as you respond thoroughly and with compassion, your customer will know that their opinion has been heard and they may give your business another shot.
Customer complaints aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but a satisfied customer is much better than an upset one.
Now that you understand why your customers complain, it’s time to get out there and give them the best shopping experience possible. After all, your business is here to serve your customers, so their thoughts and opinions need to be at the core of your strategy.
Have any more questions about dealing with customer complaints? Let us know in the comments below!
This article was written by Kevin Donnelly and originally appeared on https://www.shopify.com/blog