The importance of complaining customers to marketers

2021-07-05 by Ronn Torossian
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According to marketing expert Theodore Levitt, “ One of the surest signs of a bad or declining relationship is the absence of complaints from the client. The client is either not being candid or not being contacted. Probably both. The absence of candor reflects the decline of trust, the deterioration of the relationship.” Complaints can be transformed into opportunities for a business to grow. Complaints can be difficult to handle at times, but complaining customers can be valuable for the growth of a business. Given below are the ways customer complaints can benefit a business.

1) Identifying areas for improvement – Most complaints focus on a key area where a product or service needs work and updating. Each complaint carries with it an opportunity to increase client loyalty and thus increase business. They may also bring to light areas of weaknesses of staff members who might need more training, supervision, or perhaps a refresher course. Customer complaints can also help to monitor consistency. With the observation of where complaints are focused, quality of service across departments, teams, and locations can be addressed.

2) Enhanced customer communication-  Customer communication is a major channel of feedback between a business and its customers. Most clients switch companies because they feel that a p company or business does not care about them. A customer needs to feel important. When customers observe that a business is there for them during problems, they value the depth of the relationship that a company is able to offer. Amazon’s reviews have shown how to convince customers to buy a product over alternatives.

3) Positive effect on brand image–  If clients do not complain, they are more likely to go to competitors. If a business responds to complaints, it gains trust and protection from customers going to competitors. If customers feel that they are seen, heard, and cared about, it would lead to deeper and more meaningful relationships. It would improve the reputation of a company and make it appear trustworthy. Happy customers would share their positive experiences with friends and family, and this would only help build the reputation of a business.

4) Obtain valuable insights – Fruitful information can be gathered better from complaints. Throughout the customer experience, the Le Pain Quotidien team went seeking customer inputs aggressively. They did it through the company’s website, emails and at their restaurants. When customers responded, they had a massive number of complaints to analyze. Once they worked on the complaints and improved customer service, the number of complaints lessened. If current customers’ problems are resolved, they will feel that a business cares about their concerns overall.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities