A Complaint is a Gift
You might ask for feedback from your customers but most of the time they will say nothing to you.
That is unless you get something wrong. And then, hopefully they will let you know. Some will quietly leave of course so you need to keep your eyes open and track your customer regency (how often they patronise your?business).
Mistakes happen. And when they do, they are a golden opportunity for you to do two very important things.
Firstly, you can look at why things went wrong. Were your team following procedures or was there not one there to follow. The minute you rely on a person using their common sense you are screwed I’m afraid.
Fix the problem and then ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Second. You don’t want to put the customer back to where they would have been before the mistake happened. You want to put them in a better position. The number one best customers are the ones who were once upset but you brought them back round.
Give them a freebie. Throw in some goodies. Give them something of high value. After all, they just took the time and trouble to help you improve your business. They could just have easily have left you and told all their friends, family and Facebook community.
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I am a big believer in learning from your mistakes. It is such a valuable opportunity for improvement, both in a business sense and in personal life. The best job I ever had was built on a culture of receiving feedback, which might sound like it was very critical, but it was really quite constructive.
You can’t fix something if you don’t know it is broken. I respect companies that actively seek feedback on their products and services.
I agree that when dealing with a complaint it is important to put the customer a better position than they were in before the complaint. It builds loyalty, and then you get residual loyalty from the people that the satisfied customer tells. They are happy and you are happy.
It takes a confident person to be able to learn from their mistakes. It is hard to hear that you have done something wrong, but I see that it is a way to grow.
It’s true that, unless they are asked, customers rarely will tell you anything unless it is negative. Some of the best changes I have made have been in direct response to customer complaints.
I like this philosophy. It makes me feel like I can be more open to the complaints I sometimes field. I think I sometimes take them too personally.
I think that negative feedback is so much more useful than a compliment. A complement can be fake, but you get the real story when you get negative feedback.
I find that taking full responsibility of the fault makes such a tremendous aid in solving the problem. customers would be baffled if the top management themselves would come over and apologize for the mistake of the lowest ranking employee. but then again not all CEO’s, and COO’s are available for something like that, still dealing with an angry customer is dealing with a live bomb. Word of mouth in the negative direction is like wild fire! I agree that compensation of higher value should be exchanged. never mind we lose some money as long as we build long term profitable relationship.
Customer feedback is a valuable piece of information. In fact a complaint is so valuable you don’t even need to print those costly surveys that people hardly answer in an honest manner. Feedback is a mirror, in which it reflects your performance.
I?ve been reading through the older posts on this blog ? good stuff! I paused at this one because we so often think of a complaint as an attack and get immediately defensive. It?s difficult not to. But a complaint or a criticism *is* a gift because it provides an opportunity to engage directly with a client and learn from their concerns.
Actually this is true in personal life as well. I?m afraid I don?t handle criticism from family and friends so well; As the new year approaches, I?m going to resolve to think of those complaints or criticisms as gifts, and respond accordingly!
Uh oh. Didn?t do so well yesterday. Got upset at an implied criticism and stormed around the house finding fault with everything. Not productive at all. I?m now reminding myself that a complaint is a gift!! I must snip this out and tape it to the mirror.