Customer Complaints – How To Turn Them Into Profits

In any service-oriented business, customer complaints are an unavoidable part of the territory.

However exceptional your customer service culture, and however well intentioned, there are going to be occasions where you receive a complaint. Many complaints are customers blowing off steam because they have had a bad day, and all that you can do is listen and try to help as best you can.

Other customer complaints are the result of simple misunderstandings, and a little smooth diplomacy, attention and politeness can solve the problem quickly and efficiently. The customer will end their contact with you with a smile on their face and tell their friends and family about the great service.

“According to the University of Michigan’s 2007 American Customer Satisfaction survey, overall customer satisfaction remains flat over the past year. In some industries such as computers, hotels, and restaurants it is getting worse. In the 2005 Customer Rage Survey, the most recent available, 70% of respondents who had a problem reported feeling this fevered emotion at least once during a recent transaction, up from 68% in the 2003 poll.

As for those unpleasant interactions, each victim had on average four exchanges with the offending company to resolve the problem. And 15% of the ticked-off customers entertained fantasies of revenge: They said they’d like to repeatedly pester the business, and cost it time and money as payback.” 
– Fortune Small Business, Sept. 24, 2007

Many complaints are reasonable and well made. Rather than viewing a complaint as an inconvenience, use them as a great opportunity for your business to move to another level of service. Instead of being defensive, you can be grateful to the customer for helping to improve your business.

According to John Tschohl, president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis (customer-service.com) and one of the world’s foremost experts on service recovery, a recipient of good customer service will tell five other acquaintances on average. A client who suffers bad service will tell 10 and possibly even hundreds if he goes online to complain.

[Included in this Article:]
Checklist: Are You Customer-Focused?
Customer Complaints – An Opportunity for Improvement
Spotting the Problem
The Silent Majority
Customer Feedback
A Complaint is an Advertising Opportunity
Building Loyalty
…continued in the Ebook

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