How companies should resolve consumer complaints

If you are a company or brand, you should admit that mistakes happen. You might be 99% perfect but still that 1% figure leaves enough space for lot of unhappy customers. So, resolving consumer complaints are important to succeed in business.

When you get a consumer complaint, you can either lose an angry customer or choose to hear him patiently, and get a brand advocate for life. Actually the companies should regard customer complaint as an opportunity. If an annoyed customer is successfully pacified then there are chances of building trust and long-term relationship with him.

It is not necessary that companies should invest a lot for resolving consumer complaints. Even very simple steps can make huge difference. Lets see how companies and brands can easily resolve consumer complaints:

1. When an upset customer tells his story, the companies needs to hear him with all ears. Anger can recede rapidly if someone listens to a customer’s grievance.

2. Empathize with the customer. Brands should understand the emotions of the customers, and let him know that his pain (grievance) is genuine.

3. Apologize sincerely. Customer does not always need compensation, instead they want an apology from someone who has authority in the company.

4. Act quickly to resolve the issue. The companies should allow their customer service teams to offer discounts, compensation and gifts etc to convert the unhappy customer into satisfied advocate.

5. Cure the problem. For becoming successful business, it is important to find out the real reason why that mistake occurred. Any faulty process should be removed or modified so that mistakes should not get repeated.

Finally, it may seem easier to let an angry customer go and focus on new customers. But successful businesses know the power of customer satisfaction to achieve better customer retention.

Resolving Airtel broadband complaints

Once again our Airtel broadband connection stopped working today morning. This is third time it was gone out of order in this month and interestingly the problem was the same as it was there in previous complaints. We have been filing Airtel broadband complaints through Airtel helpline number and were following up on phone. To us, Airtel phone support is nothing more than just a “customer engagement” process which keeps customer busy till his complaint get resolves automatically after some time.

Airtel’s Customer Support Process

Here is how they “engage” you in their so called customer support process, and will never try to actively resolve your complain on time:

1. If you will call their customer support number, you will have to spend lot of time in the queue just waiting for the support agent to pick up your call. It seems either they do not have sufficient number of agents or they get more complaints than their support team can actually handle. Most of the customers will drop the idea of filing complaints, after trying for 2-3 times.

2. If you are lucky enough to get hold of a support agent then you will find that the agent will spend less time in talking and more time in getting updates from their system. Looks like they are using age old CRM/ERP system. Also, instead of focusing more on your complaint, he will focus more on extracting more phone (alternate) numbers from you as if he is going to call you immediately. Moreover you should forget about getting a complaint number (ticket number) from him unless you will specifically ask for it.

3. Now comes the most interesting phase. After the complaint has been lodged, the support agent will tell you that your problem will get resolved within 48 hours time… but this will never happen. You will very soon receive a phone call from a technical guy who will ask for your availability in your office/home so that he can come and resolve the issue. But don’t let this phone call deceive you, he will never come unless you followup with him. It looks Airtel has outsourced technical support to third parties and these small companies have found their way around SLA (Service Level Agreement). They will call the customer within few hours of lodging the complaint so that the “system” can be falsely updated that the resolution of the customer complaint has started. But actually, they will do nothing after this phone call. This has happened to us several times.

4. When you will fed up waiting for this tech guy to visit you, you will call customer support again to know about the status. To your surprise, you will find that your complaint has been resolved and closed in their system! They will not even bother to cross check from the customer regarding the same. And when you will tell them that this is unfair then they will open a new complaint and will tell you the same story that you will get resolution within 48 hours time.

5. This will keep on happening, until one fine day you will find that the Airtel broadband complaints has got resolved automatically! Now you will start thanking every support agent, tech guy, line man you talked to during the resolution process… but the truth is that they did nothing to solve the problem. It got resolved automatically, when their infrastructure got updated.

Tips to resolve Airtel broadband complaints quickly

So, how to resolve Airtel broadband complaints without being trapped in this never ending “customer engagement” process? In our opinion just follow these small tips:

i) Never forget to ask for Ticket Number for your complaint.

ii) When you receive a phone call from tech guy that he wants to come, save his number and tell him that you are available in the home/office (even if you are not, as there are very less chances that he will visit immediately). Ask him how much time it will take him to come down to your place? If he does show up, call back his number.

iii) If he doesn’t show up at all, dont wait too much. Just call the customer support again and update your same old ticket with the latest incident. This will put pressure on the service guy to visit you and resolve your complaint.

iv) If above all has failed, then try sending email to Nodal Officer of Airtel in your region. You can find email address and phone numbers on google easily. But nobody will ever pick your phone call so its better to send email to escalate your issue!

If you will follow these above tips, we are sure you will be able to resolve your Airtel broadband complaints easily.