Responding to Customer Compliments

“You can receive all the compliments in the world, but that won’t do a thing unless you believe it yourself.” – Criss Jami

Anyone running a company and in business will tell you that even tougher to get than profits, are customer compliments. These words of kindness and approval are elicited from customers only when they have been genuinely delighted but even then some customers are not very open to giving compliments. Responding to customer compliments therefore is not a capability that most companies seem to have developed – everyone has a set of rules and guidelines to manage and respond to customer complaints, but responding to customer compliments still seems to be a neglected area. Strange!

Responding to customer compliments is extremely crucial since it is a form of feedback from them and they need to know that your company is listening. Compliments from customers are the most extraordinary manner of reward for all the effort your company puts in to maintain high standards of customer service. Just as receiving them is important, responding to customer compliments will enhance the positive energy and the vibrancy of your company. When a company is quick in responding to customer compliments too, they complete the cycle of positivity and form that critical bond with their customers. Responding to customer compliments is acknowledging the fact that they are happy to be associated with you – ignoring them could be construed by customers as them not being important to you. It is absolutely critical that companies learn the art of responding to customer compliments, as well as they manage customer complaints.

Another reason why responding to customer compliments is so essential, is to acknowledge the customer’s efforts in taking time to notice your hard-work and actually revert with something pleasant. A relationship with a customer will remain only as long as the customer likes your company and trusts that the association with you is good for them – so if they are openly conceding that they think your company is great, why would you not respond to them? Not responding to customer compliments makes for very poor business sense. No company can claim to be completely listening and understanding their customers if they are not building the discipline and awareness of the good that is around – especially customer compliments. It is a well-known fact that, even in everyday life, when a person receives a compliment, they are encouraged to do things better and the acceptable thing to do is to respond to the compliment. The same applies to companies – when customers tell them that they are doing a good job, responding to customer compliments, completes the circle. Customers too, are then more likely to notice good work and not only thank the company but also let others know about it. Responding to customer compliments must be practiced such that it becomes a strategy and a process for the company in order to gain more advantages.

For customers, responses to their feedback, reiterates the company’s commitment of valuing the customer. If your company forgets to respond to positive feedback, paying attention only to complaints, the next time round, customers, will not bother with the positive and focus only on what your company is doing wrong. A raise in customer complaints leads to damaged reputation in the market and also significantly lowered morale for the company and its representatives. In trying to ascertain the cause for the rise in negative customer comments, many times companies fail to take in to account that this is probably because they did not pay enough attention to responding to customer compliments. It is crucial that companies not just theoretically value the compliments and complaints, they must show their appreciation by responding each time. Truth is that just like your company is motivated with the words of praise from customers, they too are inspired to recognize your efforts and lavish more praise for them. Repeatedly giving your customers, reason to look at the positive actions and efforts your company makes, will attune them to see the positives more often and pay less attention to the not so good.

In the business world, receiving compliments from business partners, employees and customers should be considered a major achievement. Just like financial achievements are celebrated, these compliments should also be celebrated. It’s not every day that your customers tell you how wonderful they think you are. When responding to customer compliments, ensure that your company’s representative has the customer’s complete details and the acknowledgement and thanks for the compliment is genuine and also reiterates your company’s commitment to work relentlessly to improve its standards. Just like false compliments are easy to see through, impassionate and coerced thanks for compliments are also easily discernible. Customers will not take such falsity very kindly and may just stop noticing the good you do or worse still, decide to part ways.  As an example – a friend used to frequent this restaurant. She never really had any opportunity to complain or to be pleasantly overwhelmed by their service – but it was a nice place and she liked the food. On one such visit, a number of things were exceptionally good and she was delighted. She decided to ‘repay’ the restaurant by writing high praise for them on a visible platform. To her sheer annoyance, this restaurant did not acknowledge the compliments she had taken the time to write down despite it being the first time she had been delighted with them. She found a new place to eat!

The example above elucidates the need for companies to develop this part of their ‘social skills’ and ensure that responding to customer compliments becomes part of their customer service strategy in order to ensure happier customers that are loyal, profitable and willing ambassadors of their company. In any circumstance, companies cannot afford to not have a positive and congenial relationship with their customers – customers must feel comfortable and know that their emotional needs will be taken care of and one of ways that companies can achieve this is by given due importance to the positive feedback that customers take time out to give.

There are some industries that have tough customers while others have customers that are lot easier to manage. In either case, receiving a compliment from a client can be a tough proposition. Receiving praise from customers, though, is possibly the single most intangible benefit for a company and yet it can have far reaching and positive tangible benefits too. Responding to customer compliments should be a gracious acknowledgement of their praise and also (without sounding pompous) an agreement to their recognition of the hard work your company puts in for them. It is critical to remember, that undermining your company’s efforts must never be done, just to sound modest. A courteous, heartfelt and timely thank you is extremely vital and in doing so your company will indirectly be letting the customer know that they are right and have chosen their business partner well – customers love being praised and told that they have made the right choice. This feeling in the customer encourages them to acknowledge your efforts more often and also tell others about the awesome service they received and relationship they have with your company.

Not responding to customer compliments is like telling them that your company does not care and gives the impression that their relationship with your company is being devalued – not the kind of feeling a customer should have. When your company makes responding to customer compliments a practice, it will be able to easily develop and cement its relationship with customers.

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