Business

Behind the Complaint: Understanding the Root Causes of Common Customer Issues

March 19, 2024

8 mins read

Behind the Complaint: Understanding the Root Causes of Common Customer Issues

Running a business isn’t an easy feat. In fact, the most challenging part of running a business will likely not be dealing with internal affairs but dealing with external matters—especially customer complaints.

If left unsolved, customer complaints can have a tremendous business impact on branding, image, and sales. This is why it is more important than ever that business owners figure out as early as possible what causes the most common customer complaints and how these apply to their business so necessary preventive and corrective actions can be made. 

Root causes of customer issues

The most important way to strengthen and maintain customer loyalty is by finding out the root causes of the most common customer complaints to prevent, avoid, or solve a conflict as soon as possible. A piece published in ScienceDirect emphasizes the impact of effective complaint-handling procedures in maintaining brand credibility despite customer complaints.

The root causes of customer complaints can stem from various factors—products and services, customer service, or customer experience, to name a few. 

Poor product or service quality

There can be numerous reasons why you might experience customer complaints as an SaaS provider:

  1. When the program or service ceases to work after a short while
  2. When the program or service does not serve its intended purpose
  3. When the program or service is not what the customer expected 
  4. When the program or service does not help the customer’s concerns
  5. When the program or service worsens a customer’s situation

Puneet Gogia, Founder of Excel Champs, says, “Customer complaints on SaaS products often stem from when a program or a service does not serve its intended purpose. Businesses that offer SaaS products should be well aware that customers are paying for convenience and performance, and dealing with service issues are much trickier to work around than misdelivery or replaceable defect issues.”

How to resolve this complaint

When dealing with a product or quality concern, it is important to communicate with the customer and ask how the product or service did not satisfy them. 

Often, dissatisfaction with SaaS products results from a customer needing to learn how to use the programs properly. SaaS providers should be on standby to assist customers with technical concerns, 24/7 if possible, so problems can be addressed in real-time.

Hidden costs

With SaaS products, it is important for both suppliers and customers to read the fine print and scrutinize all details on the agreement or contract before pushing through with the engagement. 

Many customer complaints for service products often stem from the additional costs that may arise in the course of the service, of which the fault could arise from either or both of the parties involved.

How to resolve this complaint

According to Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President at altLINE Sobanco, “It is important for both the vendor and the seller to communicate clearly and completely all the details involved in the service, especially when it comes to cost.” He adds, “Many customers availing of SaaS products are often unaware that certain costs out of the scope of the agreement constitute additional payment, and vendors must explicitly and clearly state such matters in the contract to avoid complications.”

Resolving a conflict and complaint arising from a misunderstanding between a vendor and a customer—especially financial-wise—will ultimately boil down to the agreement and contract signed by both parties. 

However, aggressively dealing with such cases will impact your customer’s perception of your brand and services, so if you can talk it out and reach an amicable agreement to settle the matter peacefully—do so. At the end of the day, word-of-mouth is a powerful piece of influence marketing and you would want to avoid any negative image of your products and services to your customers.

Poor customer service

There are several ways a customer may feel like they are being dealt with poorly by a customer service representative (CSR):

  1. When the CSR keeps on asking the same questions 
  2. When the CSR does not speak clearly
  3. When the CSR is not straightforward with the issue
  4. When the CSR becomes rude and disrespectful towards a customer

A customer service representative issue usually arises when help is unavailable or given to a customer. 

According to Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing & Media Relations at Ninja Transfers, “One of the worst ways to lose a customer is because of poor customer service. You can offer product replacements or fixes for a defective product, but a customer who has been dealt with poorly by a CSR will greatly backfire on your company culture as whole.”

How to resolve this complaint

People in customer service must understand that customers communicate with them to help resolve a problem, and when this problem is not solved, chances are complaints will arise. 

While CSRs cannot solve everything, it is important to communicate—clearly and properly—that may take a while, give the customers a timeline for when this problem may get solved, and follow up on the resolution of the problem within the given timeline.

Volodymyr Shchegel, VP of Engineering at Clario, says, “One feedback we often receive and notice is how there is always a lack of update to the customers on a complaint.” He explains, “Simply saying ‘We will work on it’ doesn’t cut anymore in this day and age—respect means you acknowledge the impact of your shortcomings to your customers and you give them a definite timeline, if not an immediate answer, to their concerns.”

Long onboarding process

When it comes to SaaS, onboarding is one of the most crucial and most important parts of your customer’s journey. Simply put, onboarding is the process of how long a customer navigates through your product and finds the most beneficial value to it—ensuring a successful business partnership.

However, a black hole in the system and communication between both parties results in a prolonged onboarding process, especially with a lacking onboarding checklist. Customers will often complain about how the SaaS product is not addressing a core concern in their business, how they’re too difficult to operate and make work, or how there are so many steps during an onboarding process, which may be too overwhelming for some.

How to resolve this complaint

According to Shawn Plummer, CEO of The Annuity Expert, “Customers who abandon carts are similar to customers who abandon SaaS products because of poor onboarding—they don’t see the value in your products anymore.” He emphasizes, “This can result in a significant financial impact on your business because if one customer can’t see the benefits from your SaaS, they won’t stick around, and your other customers likely won’t either.”

To resolve an onboarding problem, make sure to:

  1. Communicate properly with the customer on which part of the onboarding process they’re having the most difficult time with
  2. Keep your interface clean and easy to navigate
  3. Personalize the onboarding process—make sure that your customers are getting the most use out of the SaaS product based on their business model
  4. Keep them ‘onboarded’ with all the services, improvements and updates your product has to offer

Expectations vs. Reality

It is unavoidable to receive customer complaints on why a product or service did not look or perform as advertised. When a customer’s expectations do not meet reality, you need to assess where the fault lies and offer a resolution based on the feedback received from the customer on the problem.

Jerry Han, CMO at PrizeRebel, says, “Customer satisfaction is a tricky issue to navigate. You need to find the right balance between protecting your business integrity and your customer’s preferences, offering a resolution that will satisfy your customers but will not cause significant losses in your business, especially when it comes to implementing SaaS products that take up a significant period of time.”

How to resolve this complaint

This complaint can be tricky, depending on the reason for it. If your product or service did not meet your customer’s expectations because of excessive and incorrect advertising, ask for an apology and see how to fix the issue so your product or service can help your customer as intended.

If the complaint is because a customer’s personal preferences were not met, gather enough information and explain that all necessary details were made available before purchase—either through a quotation or a proposal.

"Resolving customer complaints requires a delicate balance of empathy and problem-solving. In cases where the product fails to meet expectations due to misleading advertising, a sincere apology coupled with a higher-quality replacement can rebuild trust. However, when complaints stem from personal preferences, it's crucial to empathetically gather details and transparently communicate the product's specifications provided before purchase." - Prabhath Sirisena Co-founder & CPO of Hiveage.

Conclusion

With the advent of technology and social media, businesses can reach and communicate with their target customers more easily than before—and this goes both ways. As we communicate with customers, customers turn to social media channels to express their complaints about our products and services. 

While customer complaints cannot be avoided, understanding the most common customer complaints and why they happen, including product quality, poor customer service, or long wait times, is essential to take preventive and corrective measures to deal with them in the future.

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Business

Behind the Complaint: Understanding the Root Causes of Common Customer Issues

March 19, 2024
8 mins read
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IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion
IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion

Running a business isn’t an easy feat. In fact, the most challenging part of running a business will likely not be dealing with internal affairs but dealing with external matters—especially customer complaints.

If left unsolved, customer complaints can have a tremendous business impact on branding, image, and sales. This is why it is more important than ever that business owners figure out as early as possible what causes the most common customer complaints and how these apply to their business so necessary preventive and corrective actions can be made. 

Root causes of customer issues

The most important way to strengthen and maintain customer loyalty is by finding out the root causes of the most common customer complaints to prevent, avoid, or solve a conflict as soon as possible. A piece published in ScienceDirect emphasizes the impact of effective complaint-handling procedures in maintaining brand credibility despite customer complaints.

The root causes of customer complaints can stem from various factors—products and services, customer service, or customer experience, to name a few. 

Poor product or service quality

There can be numerous reasons why you might experience customer complaints as an SaaS provider:

  1. When the program or service ceases to work after a short while
  2. When the program or service does not serve its intended purpose
  3. When the program or service is not what the customer expected 
  4. When the program or service does not help the customer’s concerns
  5. When the program or service worsens a customer’s situation

Puneet Gogia, Founder of Excel Champs, says, “Customer complaints on SaaS products often stem from when a program or a service does not serve its intended purpose. Businesses that offer SaaS products should be well aware that customers are paying for convenience and performance, and dealing with service issues are much trickier to work around than misdelivery or replaceable defect issues.”

How to resolve this complaint

When dealing with a product or quality concern, it is important to communicate with the customer and ask how the product or service did not satisfy them. 

Often, dissatisfaction with SaaS products results from a customer needing to learn how to use the programs properly. SaaS providers should be on standby to assist customers with technical concerns, 24/7 if possible, so problems can be addressed in real-time.

Hidden costs

With SaaS products, it is important for both suppliers and customers to read the fine print and scrutinize all details on the agreement or contract before pushing through with the engagement. 

Many customer complaints for service products often stem from the additional costs that may arise in the course of the service, of which the fault could arise from either or both of the parties involved.

How to resolve this complaint

According to Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President at altLINE Sobanco, “It is important for both the vendor and the seller to communicate clearly and completely all the details involved in the service, especially when it comes to cost.” He adds, “Many customers availing of SaaS products are often unaware that certain costs out of the scope of the agreement constitute additional payment, and vendors must explicitly and clearly state such matters in the contract to avoid complications.”

Resolving a conflict and complaint arising from a misunderstanding between a vendor and a customer—especially financial-wise—will ultimately boil down to the agreement and contract signed by both parties. 

However, aggressively dealing with such cases will impact your customer’s perception of your brand and services, so if you can talk it out and reach an amicable agreement to settle the matter peacefully—do so. At the end of the day, word-of-mouth is a powerful piece of influence marketing and you would want to avoid any negative image of your products and services to your customers.

Poor customer service

There are several ways a customer may feel like they are being dealt with poorly by a customer service representative (CSR):

  1. When the CSR keeps on asking the same questions 
  2. When the CSR does not speak clearly
  3. When the CSR is not straightforward with the issue
  4. When the CSR becomes rude and disrespectful towards a customer

A customer service representative issue usually arises when help is unavailable or given to a customer. 

According to Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing & Media Relations at Ninja Transfers, “One of the worst ways to lose a customer is because of poor customer service. You can offer product replacements or fixes for a defective product, but a customer who has been dealt with poorly by a CSR will greatly backfire on your company culture as whole.”

How to resolve this complaint

People in customer service must understand that customers communicate with them to help resolve a problem, and when this problem is not solved, chances are complaints will arise. 

While CSRs cannot solve everything, it is important to communicate—clearly and properly—that may take a while, give the customers a timeline for when this problem may get solved, and follow up on the resolution of the problem within the given timeline.

Volodymyr Shchegel, VP of Engineering at Clario, says, “One feedback we often receive and notice is how there is always a lack of update to the customers on a complaint.” He explains, “Simply saying ‘We will work on it’ doesn’t cut anymore in this day and age—respect means you acknowledge the impact of your shortcomings to your customers and you give them a definite timeline, if not an immediate answer, to their concerns.”

Long onboarding process

When it comes to SaaS, onboarding is one of the most crucial and most important parts of your customer’s journey. Simply put, onboarding is the process of how long a customer navigates through your product and finds the most beneficial value to it—ensuring a successful business partnership.

However, a black hole in the system and communication between both parties results in a prolonged onboarding process, especially with a lacking onboarding checklist. Customers will often complain about how the SaaS product is not addressing a core concern in their business, how they’re too difficult to operate and make work, or how there are so many steps during an onboarding process, which may be too overwhelming for some.

How to resolve this complaint

According to Shawn Plummer, CEO of The Annuity Expert, “Customers who abandon carts are similar to customers who abandon SaaS products because of poor onboarding—they don’t see the value in your products anymore.” He emphasizes, “This can result in a significant financial impact on your business because if one customer can’t see the benefits from your SaaS, they won’t stick around, and your other customers likely won’t either.”

To resolve an onboarding problem, make sure to:

  1. Communicate properly with the customer on which part of the onboarding process they’re having the most difficult time with
  2. Keep your interface clean and easy to navigate
  3. Personalize the onboarding process—make sure that your customers are getting the most use out of the SaaS product based on their business model
  4. Keep them ‘onboarded’ with all the services, improvements and updates your product has to offer

Expectations vs. Reality

It is unavoidable to receive customer complaints on why a product or service did not look or perform as advertised. When a customer’s expectations do not meet reality, you need to assess where the fault lies and offer a resolution based on the feedback received from the customer on the problem.

Jerry Han, CMO at PrizeRebel, says, “Customer satisfaction is a tricky issue to navigate. You need to find the right balance between protecting your business integrity and your customer’s preferences, offering a resolution that will satisfy your customers but will not cause significant losses in your business, especially when it comes to implementing SaaS products that take up a significant period of time.”

How to resolve this complaint

This complaint can be tricky, depending on the reason for it. If your product or service did not meet your customer’s expectations because of excessive and incorrect advertising, ask for an apology and see how to fix the issue so your product or service can help your customer as intended.

If the complaint is because a customer’s personal preferences were not met, gather enough information and explain that all necessary details were made available before purchase—either through a quotation or a proposal.

"Resolving customer complaints requires a delicate balance of empathy and problem-solving. In cases where the product fails to meet expectations due to misleading advertising, a sincere apology coupled with a higher-quality replacement can rebuild trust. However, when complaints stem from personal preferences, it's crucial to empathetically gather details and transparently communicate the product's specifications provided before purchase." - Prabhath Sirisena Co-founder & CPO of Hiveage.

Conclusion

With the advent of technology and social media, businesses can reach and communicate with their target customers more easily than before—and this goes both ways. As we communicate with customers, customers turn to social media channels to express their complaints about our products and services. 

While customer complaints cannot be avoided, understanding the most common customer complaints and why they happen, including product quality, poor customer service, or long wait times, is essential to take preventive and corrective measures to deal with them in the future.

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