How can customer complaints about a product or service harm a company? How can they help the company ?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is easy to imagine how customer complaints about a product or service could harm a company.  This is particularly true in this age of the internet.  When customers are unhappy, they can easily get on social media or on sites dedicated to reviews and let the world know about the problems they had.  This can give a company a bad reputation and make people unlikely to want to buy from them.  This is, quite clearly, harmful to the company.

However, customer complaints can also be good for a company.  One way they can be good is if the company handles them well.  If a customer complains and the company satisfies the customer, the customer may have positive feelings about the company.  The customer’s loyalty to the company may actually grow and he or she may praise the company on social media or review sites.  Secondly, a company can use customer complaints as a teaching and learning tool.  It is hard to improve unless we are criticized, and this fact is true for companies too.  If they look at the complaints and try hard to fix the problems revealed by those complaints, they can make their company stronger.

In these ways, customer complaints can hurt a firm, but can also do it much good.

vnessawong21 | Student

A customer complaint can come in two forms. The first form is known as negative feedback. This type of complaint will damage the company's reputation, especially if the customer complains through a review on a popular website such as Amazon. A negative in depth review on a website would harm the company's integrity and many customers may be scared off.

The second type of complaint is known as positive feedback. This type of complaint is generally less aggressive and offers suggestions about the product. In this type of complaint the company is usually able to respond and remedy the problem. In this scenario such an action would help build the company's reputation and establish their image as helpful and caring.