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Silurum - Customer Insight & Strategy


The best way to reduce customer complaints is...

What we think

My ramblings...

The best way to reduce customer complaints is...

Tim Williams

Encourage them to complain.

I recently saw a question on a forum asking how to minimise the number of customer complaints a business received. Whilst this sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to want to do some of the suggested answers frankly horrified me (deliberately hiding your phone number being my personal favourite).

More importantly though is the implication betrayed by this question that too many organisations continue to fail to see what a contact centre should, fundamentally be there for.

Rather than see it as a critical customer touch point too many businesses still see their call centre as just a cost centre - measuring ‘success’ in terms of FTE levels, call handling times and the number of calls deflected to ‘cheaper’, self-service channels. 

In other words they invest in an expensive customer touch point and then do everything they can think of to discourage customers from actually using it (anyone who has recently tried to phone HMRC will know how this makes the customer feel about the brand).

A simple leap of imagination is all that’s needed to realise that customer complaints are in fact something you need to encourage – how else will you know precisely where you are failing to be in tune with what matters to them? 


How else will you know why people are not buying from you?


If you are relying on broad measures such as NPS or, even worse, satisfaction surveys to tell you what you think your customers really think you are at best missing an opportunity and at worst deluding yourself into a false sense of security.

Go out of your way to encourage people to talk to you about what they think you’re doing wrong.

Yes this will increase the inbound call rate but what would you prefer – a silent call centre or a profitable business?