WHY IS COMPLAINT HANDLING TRAINING SO IMPORTANT AND WHAT ARE THE RISKS FOR NOT INVESTING IN THIS INITIATIVE?
Training your employees to handle customer complaints in an accurate, procedural and prompt manner brings about great benefits to all; your customers, your employees and your business.
Some benefits of complaint handling courses:
Protecting organisations’ reputations - Perhaps the most important benefit of complaint handling training is the essential role it plays in protecting organisations’ reputations. By making your workforce more effective at dealing with customer grievances, these courses ensure that complainants feel as though they are being listened to, understood and taken seriously. This is very important for businesses because it makes it easier for them to maintain a positive brand image.
Maximising sales levels - Having a favourable reputation and being known as an organisation that takes customer issues and complaints seriously has the knock-on effect of helping to maximise sales. Consumers are now faced with considerable choice when they are looking for products and services, and one of the ways in which they differentiate between rival businesses is by looking at how well they treat their customers. Therefore, organisations that are known for offering impressive levels of service and for responding promptly and effectively to any grievances have a competitive advantage over other companies. As well as making it easier to attract new customers, effective complaints handling helps to ensure higher levels of repeat custom.
Lowering stress levels among employees - When they have a grievance, people can behave in a distressed, confrontational and even aggressive way. This means that dealing with negative feedback from customers can be stressful for employees. Another important benefit of well executed complaint handling training is the fact that it makes it easier for employees to deal with these potentially difficult scenarios. It gives them the skills they need to resolve the situations as efficiently, effectively and calmly as possible, eliminating much of the stress. In turn, this can make workers feel happier and more confident in their roles.
Ensuring operations run more smoothly - Efficient, skilfully managed grievance handling helps companies to keep their operations running more smoothly. It reduces the risk that complaints will escalate to more serious and damaging levels, giving businesses a better chance of resolving these issues without using up considerable amounts of time, energy and money. In turn, this frees up resources for other important tasks, such as strategic planning.
What are the risks of not investing in this training?
Providing your workforce with complaint handling training does require some investment, but not taking advantage of these development programmes can end up costing organisations a lot more. There are a whole range of risks associated with failing to ensure employees are equipped to deal with customer grievances. For example, while building up a positive reputation as an organisation can take many years of dedication and skill, all of this hard work can be undone if businesses are unable to successfully resolve customer complaints. When people feel as though their grievances are not taken seriously or revolved effectively, they are likely to speak out. They may tell friends, family and colleagues about their negative experiences. They may also now register their dissatisfaction online through social media and review websites, amplifying the negative impact on organisations’ reputations.
Poor complaints handling procedures caused by an absence of suitable training also hits sales levels because of the off-putting effect it has on prospective customers. Another disadvantage may be with your staff members, if they are ill-equipped to deal with complaints they could experience unnecessary levels of stress and pressure, hitting morale and potentially leading to higher employee turnover.