Is a Complaint Really a Gift?


Is a Complaint Really a Gift?

customer complaint

Now I’ve just fired off an email complaint to our photocopier company. I won’t mention the brand yet. Our machine is a lemon. It has been a lemon for 12 months. So I’ve sent an email to the exec team highlighting the main issues over the past 12 months. The company is market leader and I’ve already complained that they have a first class product backed up with 3rd class service.

Now I would expect that they won’t be overly happy reading the email. Indeed they may decide to ignore it. But if they’re smart they will understand that the complaint is a free critique of how they are performing. It’s interesting, I know organisations that will pay zero attention to customer complaints that are free and honest but will spend squillions of dollars paying consultants to conduct customer satisfaction surveys.

Now some of you will be reading this saying that you’re not directly interacting with your customers. But you’ve probably got internal customers. So what does it mean if they are complaining? Should you just write them off as a bunch of whingers. Or maybe you could set aside some time and actually tackle the issues that they are complaining about. Many internal complaints are recurring. So if you fix the root cause of the problem then the problem won’t revisit you endlessly.

So make a commitment that you’ll start treating complaints as a gift. Of course you’ll get the odd complaint that needs to be ignored. But if a few customers are complaining about the same thing, then maybe you’re ignoring more than you’re fixing!

Here’s a handy little course that I’d recommend:

How to Reduce Customer Complaints

Spare a thought for the poor photocopier people that are visiting later today. We’ve got the whole office lined up intending to take them through every issue slowly. All going well we’ll be done by Christmas Day.

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