What matters, is what you do next – because how you handle the situation makes the difference between customer disappointment and negative word of mouth, or improved loyalty, satisfaction and advocacy.
Let’s look at my recent experience of hiring a rental car from New Zealand based Ace car rentals for a case study in customer service and complaints good practice.
Naturally, I wanted to shop around for the best deal, so I dipped into my junk mailbox and retrieved a selection of spam e-mail from companies partnering with my preferred airline loyalty scheme, Qantas.
Here’s why Ace showed world class complaint management.
World class companies don’t just listen, they take action - and they tell you what they’ve done about it too.
My customer service advisor replied (I call her ‘mine’, because it felt like there was a real personal commitment by now). She explained that my feedback was being sent to the web team and changes would be made to the new company website being released next week to fix the problem.
But wait, there’s more!
The next day, I received the follow up satisfaction survey from my rental weekend. I filled it out, gave an honest ‘3’ for the booking experience (everything else was 9-10) and referred to my complaint. Like everyone else’s, their survey said they take feedback seriously.
What marked out Ace car rentals as different was the e-mail I received shortly after hitting ‘submit’ from my customer service advisor (yes, the same one). She told me how they read every single one of their feedback comments in detail. They obviously do. My internet provider could learn a thing or two from Ace.
She then gave me an excited update on exactly how the web team had fixed my issue and why it would improve the customer experience for others.
Why did Ace car rentals show world class complaints performance here?
- They made it easy to complain and did the mechanics of complaint handling competently
- They made it personal. A genuinely committed and interested employee showed passion and personality in getting to the root cause of my issue.
- They responded with immediate changes showing they’ve learnt from my complaint and fixed it quickly to make a better experience for everyone. No IT excuses, no defensive justifications. Just action to fix the problem.
- They joined up their learning processes. Survey feedback provided by another route has been connected to an open customer complaint. They gave a personalised response (from the same advisor) showing commitment to individual customer experience.
- They kept me in the loop. I feel listened to, that my views (however wrong!) were important and that they’re striving to create the best customer experience for everyone.
Average companies respond to it.
Above average companies do something to make things better.
World class leaders learn, improve and take action that rewards loyalty and shows genuine commitment to delivering the best customer relationship.
Estelle joins Craig from FedEx and Maria from Upper Hutt City Council in the Price Perrott customer experience Hall of Fame.
If you'd like to improve your organisation's complaints management performance against world class standards, contact Price Perrott about: