A complaint is a compliment
A complaint is a compliment: what do we mean by this? Surely a complaint is a bad thing because it means that the customer is unhappy about something?
Well, of course it’s usually better to have happy customers than unhappy ones, but, who are you kidding? You can’t get it right all the time, no matter how great your business and systems. And the person who will notice when you’ve made a mistake before anyone else is the customer.
Yet all research shows that the customer very often doesn’t tell the organisation, so most organisations are supremely ignorant customer experience and all the small moments of truth that really matters to the customer that they are not getting the right is the need to in order to deliver consistent and continually improving customer reputation and loyalty.
So, when the customer complains, they are really doing you a massive favour:
- They are informing you of something about your business that you may well not have been aware of.
- They are telling you rather than all their friends behind your back.
- They are bucking the trend and are being brave enough to bring this to your attention when the 20 other people may well have noticed it but not told you anything about it.
- They are subconsciously telling you that they trust you to do something about it and want to have a long-term relationship with your business.
So it’s always a mystery to me why customer facing staff in any organisation so often find a complaint a problem to deal with.
Instead of saying: “thank you so much for bringing this to my attention, let me listen to you more”, they often say something inane and defensive that puts the customer’s back up and makes them which they had never bought this matter to the attention of the member of staff in the first place.
Top tip: change the word “complaint” to “compliment”
- Send this piece of information to every member of your staff and have a 10 minute meeting every month on the value, power and joy of compliments.
- Start developing a world class compliment response process that is designed to consistently build reputation and referrals in every situation.
For more information for practical support in these areas, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org