5 Ways to Monitor Customer Complaints

It was only a couple of years ago that nearly 70% of customer complaints on Twitter were ignored by companies. Thankfully, companies are better nowadays, but it’s important to remember in a world where customers are complaining on many different customer service channels, you must make sure you’re doing everything you can to monitor customer complaints and resolve them quickly.

All our customers at Client Heartbeat use customer feedback surveys to monitor customer complaints, but in this post, I wanted to talk about five other ways you can use customer complaint monitoring to identify unhappy customers.


1. Monitor customer complaints using social media monitoring tools

Companies are now using social media to monitor customer feedback and increase customer satisfaction. For example, Tesco, one of UK’s biggest grocery store chains, has a whopping 75,904 twitter followers and using Twitter as a channel to monitor customer complaints and resolve them quickly.

As a result of the big companies integrating social media into their customer service channels, your customers now expect you to be there too. You need to be monitoring your brand mentions across all social media websites. To help you with this, there are a couple of really good tools available. Sprout SocialSocialBro, and conversocial all do a good job at monitoring your brand mentions and other specific keywords that are relative to your company.

Let’s take a look at a practical example of a customer using social media to lodge a complaint.

Picture this… Joe Bloggs is furious that BestBuy got his order wrong. He went to Twitter to lodge a complaint. “So disappointed with customer service from @BestBuy, all I wanted an apology”. Conversocial and these other tools will pick this up, notify BestBuy personally and give them a chance to proactively reply. BestBuy now has the opportunity to address any concerns, make the customer feel listened to, and solve the problem.


2. Monitor customer complaints using social media pages

This is slightly different to using social media monitoring tools because in this case, customers are leaving feedback directly on your Facebook, Twitter or social media pages. With these customer complaints, they want an answer now. Customers that leave your complaints directly via social media are using your pages as a customer support channel and you need to response. Since the feedback is publicly seen by everyone on the social media pages, you need to be quick to respond before things get out of control.

I talk more about using social media as a customer support channel in this article, but today lets look at some examples how how social media pages can be used to monitor customer complaints.

Coles customer complaint

In the above complaint by a Coles customer, you can see how they have used Facebook as a means to send their complaint. Gone are the days of customers filling out outdated customer complaint forms or hanging on the phone for 20 minutes to lodge their complaints. Customers are now using their mobile phones upward of 150 times a day; it’s so much easier for them to send complaints via Facebook or Twitter.

So my first recommend is to make sure you have a Facebook and Twitter page, and secondly, make sure you are monitoring customer complaints on these pages. There’s nothing worse for a customer to see complaints go unanswered on social media pages.

In the below screenshot you’ll see another example. But this time, it shows what you should not do. You should not avoid customer complaints; it just looks bad and says to all your customers, “I don’t care about my customers”. This complaint hasn’t had a response and it was posted in September 2012!

big richard customer complaint facebook

3. Monitor customer complaints using customer support software

I recommend giving your customers a way to lodge customer complaints via email. This way, a customer knows they can reach you pretty quickly, and can use a channel that they are familiarly with.

I love using customer service and support software that syncs with my email to make it easier to monitor customer complaints and assign them to the appropriate person. At Client Heartbeat, we use Desk.com as our customer support software that also acts as a customer complaint monitoring tool. If a customer has a problem, we direct them to leave a ticket or email us directly, and it syncs with Desk.com while also sending me a notification immediately. This all happens instantly, so I can follow up with the complaint quickly, and resolve the problem.

Other tools that I have used in the past and strongly recommend are HelpScout and Zendesk. All three of these software apps have their pros and cons, so take a look at this comparison on GetApp.com to review the best one for you.


4. Monitor customer complaints using a customer support phone number

This might seem old school, but boy is it important. I discussed earlier that customers have transitions to leaving customer complaints via new digital channels. That is definitely true, but I want to emphasize that it is still important to maintain your more traditional customer service channels to ensure you care for everybody’s tastes. A lot of your customers will still want to pick up the phone and dial in to talk to someone, so make sure you have a customer service number, or even better, a customer complaint number.

Remember to keep this number manned and try to answer the calls as quickly as possible. You don’t want your customers hanging on hold for 20 minutes and you certainly don’t want to be outsourcing the experience (if you can help it). Customers love talking to some inside your company, and that goes a long way to showing you care.

If you just outsource all customer complaints to a outside company working in overseas, what does that really tell your customer? Personally, it think tell them you don’t give a sh*t.

Keep customer support and complaint handling personal and you’ll go a long way to making it a memorable that will build customer loyalty and increasing customer retention.


5. Monitor customer complaints using Google Alerts

The last way you should be monitoring customer complaints is by using Google Alerts. This tool lets you get email updates of the latest Google results based on your queries. So what you can do is setup queries for your brand terms and related words. Let’s t
ake a look at an example for one of our customers.

Dorks Delivered is an IT Company in Brisbane and they want to monitor customer complaints using Google Alerts. They should select queries: “Dorks Delivered” and maybe, “Dorks IT”.

Now, every time those queries are picked up on the web, they will get a quick email update. This one tool can help you track your brand mentions on community forums, review sites like Yelp, popular news websites, and all sorts of blogs around the world.

Out of all the recommendations I have provided today, this one is the cheapest (it’s free, you just need a Google account), and by far the quickest to setup. Here’s a quick two minute video on how to setup Google Alerts to help you monitor customer complaints.


Customer feedback surveys are great, but now you have five more ways to monitor customer complaints

With more and more of your customers leaving customer complaints on new digital channels, it’s important to make sure you are there to answer them. Customer feedback tools and online survey tools have traditionally been the best way to monitor customer complaints, but I hope I’ve introduced some additional ways you can monitor customer complaints.

Are there any other ways you monitor customer complaints? Please share using the comments below.

Watch the video:

Photo credit: Complaints button by FindYourSearch

Gordon Tan

Gordon Tan is an entrepreneur based in Australia who has started and sold multiple technology companies with a combined value of $150m. This included a client satisfaction benchmarking platform which gave him first hand insight into the best practices of over 6,000 businesses. After retiring at 35 he is now a recognised thought leader on winning and retaining clients - His two passions: making clients the heartbeat of a business no matter what the product or service and this blog.

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