Who doesn’t like complainers?
In my various seminars, I’ve heard one statement made over and over again. “Nobody likes a complainer." I differ. I like complainers.
Because a complainer is doing me a favor. They are the extension of any research I could ever do. And research is very costly.
And they also are not paid but providing every one of us with invaluable and often real time feedback on what isn’t working in your business or your relationship with them. How can anyone put a price tag on that.
Through various surveys we find that customers voice their displeasure with their feet…they just walk away from your company. They simply go away. One day they are dissatisfied and the next they are gone. They disappear.
By the time you realize they are gone, it’s too late.
This is why I like and celebrate the “complainer.” The data they provide makes the improvement I need to make in my company possible.
Most of the time customers are convinced that you don’t care and won’t correct the problems, so when you find a customer who cares enough to share with you how you could improve, they should be valued and rewarded.
Recognize the long term value of fixing a problem that a customer has experienced. Remember this. For each customer that complains, many more have already left you as a customer/client or…and this is important…they will if you don’t’ fix your problem.
Set up a system to make it easy for your customers/clients to give you feedback and listen intently when they do come forth. Telling a customer “ nobody else has complained” misses the point and is probably a lie that they will see through.
Here are some steps you could take to leverage complaints and turn them into constructive improvement.
1. Thank the customer for taking the time to let you know of the bad experience they had in doing business with you.
2. Honor their courage to speak up and let them know that you appreciate it.
3. Reward them for coming forth by giving them complimentary items, preferential treatment, or discounts. I’m sure you can think of others things to reward them with.
4. And when you have corrected and acted on their complaint, communicate with them and tell them. Your responsiveness will strengthen the bond between you and them.
If you really think about it, a complaint is really a compliment. They cared enough to let you know about the problem and to allow you to fix it. They will now think that you are capable of doing so in the future and will be happy when you do. They now become a lifelong customer.
What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below.