Customer Complaints are your Friends. How do you Treat your Friends?

It’s true.  Customer complaints are your friends.

According to research, only 4% of customers file a complaint on a company’s website or call center.   This means that for every complaint, you should assume 25 customers have been inconvenienced.  A friend is someone who tells you when something is wrong.  A complaint is that friend.

A complaint is not a problem.  A complaint is an opportunity to improve, to better train your staff, to audit your products and processes, to better service your customers.    A friend is somebody who helps you.  A complaint is that friend.

A complaint is often the first signal of an underlying problem.  Retail organizations rarely lose customers over complaints.  They lose customers when complaints are not handled well. Handing a customer’s complaint actually boosts customer loyalty.  That customer is likely to share their satisfaction with their friends and co-workers.  Handled well, a complaint transforms into enhanced loyalty and free “viral” advertising.  Handled poorly, a complaint morphs into loss of loyalty, loss of revenue and a public relations mess. A friend is somebody who wants you to stay out of trouble.  A complaint is that friend.

A complaint is part of a 360 degree view of store performance.  District manager visits and score on the one hand, customer complaints on the other.  A friend is somebody who is part of your whole life and its many facets.  A complaint is that friend.

You see, complaints are our friends.  We want to treat them well, and handle them promptly and respectfully, for their sake and ours.

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