It’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed when you receive a customer complaint – with so many channels now available for clients to go through, it can be both difficult monitoring customer support and demoralising for your team. However, there is always a silver lining! Each time you receive feedback, you have access to a powerful guide that can transform every aspect of your business for the better, and ensures a high level of client satisfaction is retained in the future. 

Clearly, we can see a proactive approach is vital; the ability to chart a path forward with your client as the focus highlights the importance of customer complaints. In this blog post, we’ll be breaking down why it is so crucial you spin this feedback positively and how it can majorly affect your business. 

What are customer complaints?

A consumer complaint is “an expression of dissatisfaction on a consumer’s behalf to a responsible party” – we can define this as a mismatch between what a business has promised and what a client has received, effectively exposing a gap in terms of customer service. 

There are several different types of complaints that could be related to improper communication, internal processes or poor quality of service. It may seem rather demoralising, but the key to complaints is realising that it is instead an opportunity to reflect and make a positive change. The importance of customer complaints is the ability to resolve an issue, unveiling unexpected areas of improvement that in the long term will see your business grow. 

Whilst it can be difficult to accept, you should be thankful for client feedback – even when it is negative, and this is an invaluable asset that will develop your brand and future customer service strategies. 

Quick-fire benefits

When you begin valuing complaints made by your consumer, you can unlock the true potential of your business. This feedback can be taken constructively, revealing opportunities for you and your team to grow – some of the key quick-fire benefits are:

  • Highlighting the key areas in which your products or services need improvement.
  • Opening up the opportunity for your team to have an honest discussion with your customers, allowing your consumers to feel like a valued component of your brand.
  • Providing valuable insight into how to train your customer service team and how to improve upon this; once you have a solid foundation, this can be applied to new members as your business grows.

importance of customer complaints

The importance of customer complaints

Instead of conducting extensive market research or running a specific feedback survey, customer complaints provide you with real insight into how your clients feel. This first-hand perspective allows you to carefully address and implement changes. By understanding the importance of customer complaints, analysing your business’ weaknesses becomes a simpler process. Let’s look at some of the key reasons feedback is so crucial:

#1 Get a reality check on your business

It is crucial you pay attention to complaints as these will help you to identify where your business is currently at, ultimately allowing you to create clearly defined goals to take you to the next level. Authentic feedback acts as a reality check, helping you to plan strategies that will target these areas of weakness as you can:

  • Identify the loopholes of service delivery
  • Gain insight into your customer’s perception
  • Learn about desirable features and how to create better, new products for future release

If you can commit to consistently acting upon customer complaints, you will not only be developing your support team but it will also make a difference to your business as a whole – changing the way you operate as you adapt to resolve any issues. 

#2 First-hand experience of your services and products

Over 51% of customers won’t return to a business after a bad experience with a service or product, but just by asking for feedback you can retain a higher level of clients – and this is essential. Many businesses are not willing to proactively ask for feedback, and whilst a customer may not directly tell you about their disappointment, they will almost certainly tell their family, friends, or even the rest of the internet! Don’t underestimate the power of personal recommendations, they can be your best friend or ultimate foe should you avoid encouraging complaints!

But, if you can acquire first-hand you’ll be able to identify areas of potential growth. Encouraging genuine feedback may pave the way for new developments of your product/service – if a particular item receives a complaint, asking why will provide valuable insight which may be especially beneficial for new startups. Furthermore, by listening to this feedback your customer will feel highly regarded and is, therefore, more likely to return. 

#3 Build your brand reputation online

All businesses will receive a complaint from time to time, it’s natural. But, you can build and maintain a strong brand reputation by dealing with these in a timely, professional manner, making you stand out from the competition. It may seem easier to delete or avoid negative comments that have been posted online about your business as they are not direct, but it is of the utmost importance that you actively respond to such when social media is now such a readily available device for potential clients. 

We’ve compiled a few quick tips to ensure your business builds a reputable online presence when dealing with negative feedback:

  • Respond to online reviews and customer complaints as quickly as possible
  • Maintain a professional, polite tone when responding to a client and if possible offer an incentive
  • Avoid taking the complaints as a personal attack
  • Hold your hands up and apologise – though you may not be in the wrong, an apology goes a long way
  • Monitor how your comments are received with ‘was the useful’ tools etc. and gain insight to your audience, it’s likely you’ll be considered a competent, honest brand

# 4 Improve your customer support strategy

Customer support teams are vital within your business, but they need to be trained to effectively respond to your clients. In addition, to reply in a timely fashion, you need to have the right tools in place. 

When a customer complains and receives either the wrong reply, has to go through several processes, or has wait days for a solution, you are damaging your brand. And, once damaged it is far harder to rebuild this reputation. Consider implementing a training programme not only for new starters but to refresh those that have been with the company for a longer period of time, and ensure this programme is updated with real examples consistently. It is vital your team feel confident to diffuse difficult situations. 

Are you struggling to reply quickly? Or are you yet to build a support team? There are a variety of other tools available that will reassure the client of your response – from live chat to chatbots. 

#5 The ability to exceed expectations

When a business receives a complaint, they will usually acknowledge the complaint and apologise for the inconvenience – hopefully remedying the problem in the process too. However, this is a missed opportunity and again highlights the importance of customer complaints. This is your chance to go one step further and exceed expectations – whether it’s a hand-written follow-up note, a personalised discount code or to give a client early access to a new product, if you can go above and beyond you’ll be doing yourself a favour in the long term!

Customers pay attention to the small details, especially when they’re distressed. If you can not only resolve the problem but turn the post-complaint experience into a positive one, this will be the point a client will communicate most when they next talk about your business. And of course, word-of-mouth/personal recommendations are one of the most effective marketing devices available, so prioritising complaints is essential.

The takeaway

When we receive a complaint it’s easy to simply cast this aside and take this negatively, but we need to shift our perception to see the true value of this feedback. Encouraging your customers to come directly to you with their honest opinions will have a significant impact on your business and the way you move forward, continuing to grow successfully.

By understanding the importance of customer complaints, you are not only maintaining a high level of client satisfaction but will be transforming the way you operate – this is an opportunity to develop areas of weakness you may not have yet uncovered yourself, allowing you to prevent future issues on a larger scale. It’s vital you remember any distress or anger received is not a personal attack, and that all businesses will face a complaint from time to time – how you deal with these, and if you can take a positive attitude with you will be the difference. 

Are you looking to transform your business but need a little advice? Contact us today at or call +44 (0)1483 24 33 81 and we’ll be more than happy to discuss how we can help you. Azimuth are experts in business development, with over 20 years and a proven track record to assure you of the services we can provide. 

We’re Here To Help You

For more information about how Azimuth can help with business management/strategy training and consulting please get in touch

Contact Us