Customer Service / Customer Experience

How CRM Software for Small Businesses Can Help Resolve Customer Disputes

Ruth Awad and Sara Korn

Updated: Apr 24, 2023 · 4 min read

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The right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software doesn't just nurture leads and track prospects — it can also help you resolve customer disputes before they cause damage.

Small business owners know better than most that a customer dispute is more than a thorn in the side. Even when they're not serious, complaints can lead to bad online reviews and a lack of referrals, both of which can hurt your bottom line.

Then there's the fact that customer complaints can escalate into professional liability lawsuits if they're not handled properly. The stakes are high.

So let's see how your CRM can help you keep customers satisfied.

1. A small business CRM keeps your customer information organized

Organization is of crucial importance. You can't address complaints that you can't find. If you're like many small business owners, customer questions may get lost in your inbox or social media feeds.

CRM software can help you track prospects as they engage with your small business through social media, email and your website. That means you can respond to customer complaints as soon as they crop up. And the sooner you respond, the less time your customer has to stew on bad feelings.

Plus, some small business CRM software, like Keap, allows you to assign a task to a particular customer and employee. So if resolving a dispute requires a face-to-face meeting, you can schedule that all in one place to make sure your customer’s needs are addressed quickly.

2. CRM software helps you follow up quickly

Responding right away to a complaint is key to making your customers feel important. With small business automation, you can send out a response as soon as a complaint is submitted so the customer knows you received their message. The last thing you want a frustrated customer to experience is the feeling that their message went into a black hole.

In your first follow-up email to a customer complaint, you can tell them:

  • That you received their message
  • How soon they can expect a response
  • Where they can find resources that might help in the meantime

Take things a step further by segmenting your complaints and inquiries. On your contact form, ask the customer to select from a menu of types of problems, and perhaps even ask what they’ve tried so far. This information will automatically flow into your small business CRM, which can then help you automatically route customers to the appropriate resources and personnel.

3. A CRM gives you the insight you need to engage meaningfully

The same insight that allows you to create personalized correspondence for leads and prospects can also help you when a customer comes to you with a complaint.

A quick look at your customer's history, as cataloged in your CRM, can give you an idea of how they've engaged with your business, what they've bought from you, and who they've worked with before. Armed with that info, you can offer solutions that haven't already been tried.

Just remember, when you engage with a dissatisfied customer, you should:

  1. Respond quickly. Staying organized and utilizing automation helps you identify and respond to customer complaints faster.
  2. Listen. Even if you know what their issue is, hear them out.
  3. Recap the issue. This is a good way to acknowledge their frustration and demonstrate that you were actually listening.
  4. Offer a personalized solution. Make your customer part of this process so you don't overcompensate. This also gives you a better chance at finding a solution your customer will accept. Keep in mind: Research shows that 83% of customers feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their complaints.
  5. Confirm the problem is resolved. If you can, get written confirmation that the problem was resolved to the customer's satisfaction. That way, if the issue resurfaces as a legal complaint, you have a paper trail to support your defense.

You may not be able to solve every customer's problem, but if you are personable and kind, you have a better chance at resolving disputes before they escalate. Check out our tips for handling customer complaints for more info.

To get started organizing and automating your customer support process with the best CRM for small business, start a free trial of Keap. There’s no credit card required to get started. Not only is small business automation great for handling customer complaints, it also helps you deliver a better customer experience from day one.

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