Customer Complaints Are Wonderful


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Complaining is an inevitable part of any relationship. In business, complaints need to be handled properly or you run the risk of alienating and losing the customers you worked so hard to win.

An essential step toward handling complaints effectively is to understand that customers have a very different view of the situation than you do. In his book “The Squeaky Wheel,” author Guy Winch ostensibly offers readers tips on “complaining the right way.”

This book, however, reveals a concerning thought pattern among customers: they expect their complaints to be handled poorly! According to Winch, customers begin the complaint process ready for a fight.

This self-defense tactic may be the best strategy in some situations, like if you were planning to tell your mother-in-law that the sweater she bought you is hideous, but it’s not how you want your customers thinking. It’s your job to dispel this perspective with a positive customer experience. We all have to accept that handling complaints is an integral part of the CE process.

Our research shows that well-handled complaints drive customer loyalty. In fact, the complaint’s resolution does not even have to satisfy the customer, so long as the process was handled in a fast, effective manner. Moreover, the customer does not always have to be right, but they always have to be treated with respect, in a timely manner, and offered a positive solution.

You cannot control how your customers feel coming into their relationship with your company, but you have the utmost control once they enter the relationship. That’s why it is imperative that we all understand and orchestrate our customer experiences from the initial touch point, through the sale, and down the line to complain handling and resolution.

Make sure your customers don’t adopt the mindset that complaint equals fight. Make you’re your customer experience is designed to invite customer feedback in a respectful way, and that your customers know it isn’t necessary to fight. They’ll respect your for it.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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