Complaint management is an essential part of customer relationship management and describes the professional handling of companies and organizations with the dissatisfaction expressed by customers about products and services. Customers can feel harmed, offended, or treated inappropriately.
Since customer satisfaction is a central goal of market-oriented corporate management, consequences must be drawn that should be based on the expectations of disappointed customers. Customers who complain usually have the expectation that the damage they have suffered from their subjective point of view will be eliminated or that reparation will be made. For example, several of the following reactions can be used individually or in combination as a consequence of the complaint:
- Reparation, compensation or even overcompensation for the damage incurred
- Change of product (s) or service (s)
- Organizational change
- Changes in the behavior of employees of the company
A dissatisfied customer acts like a negative multiplier that can cause word-of-mouth to damage a company's reputation. The aim must therefore be to satisfy dissatisfied customers by solving problems in a fair manner and by quickly and carefully eliminating the causes.
Complaint management must ensure that the customer can contact the company in an uncomplicated and informal manner and quickly receive competent solutions for the problems described. To this end, transparency is to be created in particular with regard to the responsibility for receiving complaints. The annoyance of a customer who wants to complain should not be increased by searching for the person responsible for them.
If this succeeds, two advantages can be realized at the same time: On the one hand, customers recognize that their concerns are taken seriously by the company. As a result, customers can become positive multipliers who praise the generous arrangements for their problems by the company and thus reward the compensation or overcompensation. On the other hand, complaint management can become an important source for the development of suggestions in terms of continuous improvement (Kai-Zen). After all, critical customers express what many other customers do not share. who shy away from directly articulating criticism towards companies.