Customer complaints. The term is enough to make our hearts pump and our blood pressure jump. We hate dealing with them. We hate even knowing about them. A complaint means someone in our company has made a mess and we need to mop it up. And it means we have a angry customer to placate.
In most companies customer complaints are shunned, ignored or marginalized. This is too bad. It’s like dumping money in a river and watching it float away. Because customer complaints are one of the most valuable assets an organization has.
Complaints are better than gold. They offer you the opportunity to increase customer loyalty. Customers who are impressed with your response to a complaint are more likely to be loyal. They’ll buy more and tell others how wonderful you are.
Complaints offer you valuable information to improve your business. A complaint is a customer telling you what they want. This is critical if you are going to attract and keep loyal customers. Many companies never bother asking what their customers want. Others pay for surveys and research. But complaints are free. And they come directly from your customers so they’re accurate.
Start seeing complaints for what they are: feedback. Encourage your customers to give you feedback. Reward your employees for acquiring it. Then do something with it. Make it available to all your employees. Talk about it. Analyze it. If you’re unclear what it means ask your customers for more details.
Make it easy and convenient for your customers to give you feedback. Thank them for it. Let them know what you do with it. Make it clear that you value and expect feedback.
Do this and you’ll never have another complaint. Instead you’ll have a never-ending flow of priceless information to improve your business.