customer complaints

Are Customer Complaints Good or Bad?

All businesses, whatever industry they belong to, don’t want to encounter customer complaints. Why? simply because it has a negative impact that it’s hard to recover from. In other situations, it even can become very costly to settle a single customer complaint. Some businesses also closed down and declared bankruptcy because they could not handle the number of complaints they received.

In this post, we will help you understand customer complaints better and its impact on your restaurant.

If You Fail To Listen, Customer Complaints Happen

Once your customer enters your restaurant, he expects to be treated well, respected and have a good dining experience. This is the expectation that every restaurant owner, manager and staff member needs to ensure. If this is not met, customer complaints happen.

Listening is both an important skill and human gift that your restaurant team should learn and practice.

The sensitivity to listen to potential customer concerns and the ability to respond in a timely and correct manner is a quality each restaurant team member should possess. For example, you overheard one of your customers complaining about the food, what you should do is to approach him to understand his problem. Once you finish listening, take the necessary actions. You can replace his food or compensate him with a discount in an attempt to make him satisfied. What’s important is that your customer will feel that his voice was heard and his complaint was taken care of. This will help you avoid losing him. 

Customer Complaints Are an Opportunity to Build Loyalty

Yes, you read it right even. Customer complaints, which are very negative, can become an opportunity for you. It entirely depends on how you can turn it to be in your favor.

When a customer complaints about your product or your service, take it as an opportunity for improvement. This is because, after the ranting and gestures of the customer, some of them will give their suggestions. Those suggestions are valuable and free so why not take them and study their implementation in the restaurant. This will also give the complaining customer a sense of ownership of your restaurant. Show them that their suggestions are taken seriously and, believe me, they will be loyal to you.

For more tips on how you can build customer loyalty read this post.

Customer Complaints Have a Cost

We are living in the digital age in which everything can be recorded and shared in social media including customer complaints. In this situation, immediate customer recovery and crisis management must be implemented.

Customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (Customers 2020)

There are three costs of customer complaints in your restaurant, and these are the following:

  • Image Built-UP Cost
  • Settlement Cost
  • Productivity Cost
Image Built-Up Cost

This is the amount of money your restaurant spends to recover the bad image that the customer complaint has brought you. You are paying this cost to minimize the impact on your brand. It will also ensure the patronage and sustainability of your restaurant despite the complaint.

Settlement Cost

When your customer complaint reaches the level of the courts or any regulatory bodies, then expect some costs to resolve it. That path is proven to be costly because customers will let your restaurant shoulder all their expenses in the case including attorney fees, transportation, and civil damages. However, if you settle the case early between you and the customer, it’ll be a huge money and time saving for you. This is because the more professional people, like lawyers, are involved, the higher the cost will be. On top of that, you will avoid any other impacts that the case has against your restaurant and its reputation.

Productivity Cost

This cost is often neglected because it goes unnoticed. Remember that once a customer complains at your restaurant, all the team members and managers will exert their efforts to recover the customer. The time and attention you give to solve the complaint will be at the expense of taking additional orders and doing marketing.

Avoiding Customer Complaints

In order to avoid customer complaints, it’s better to be proactive in looking at your restaurant operations. For sure, there are some aspects you should consider to avoid customer complaints. One of the aspects you should look into is your restaurant systems and technology. For example, you should choose a reliable, quality and state-of-the-art ordering system in order to satisfy your customers like Taker. The online food delivery segment of your restaurant needs an ordering app like Taker which is not only user-friendly, innovative but affordable. To learn more about how you can create a great food delivery experience to your customers read this post.

Although customer complaints are a negative thing, they be can be turned into an opportunity to build up strong customer loyalty. Also, being proactive to those complaints can save you lots of costs and time as well as help preserve your restaurant’s reputation.

If your restaurant is looking for an online ordering system

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