'Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.' - Bill Gates
Have you ever wanted to complain online to a company only to find that complaints are not one of the fifteen options for selection.
I tend to select customer query and then head the comments box with complaint.
I don’t know about you but I worry without that word in there, they might not take me seriously. I get frustrated too that that there’s no obvious complaints process.
Some time ago I ran a lot of ‘quality’ workshops and our ice breaker was to decide collectively on companies synonymous with quality.
Time and again, good old Marks and Spencer would be number one.
The surprising thing was that it wasn’t just about the quality of their products but more-so how they put things right.
People loved the try, see and hassle free take-back, possibly not including the post Christmas queues! They loved the fact that mistakes were put right with a simple process to follow and an apology. They felt that M&S after-sales care was second to none. The way they put things right seemed to make people, not only forget the initial fault, but rate them even higher.
‘Anger ventilated hurries to forgiveness.’ - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
What a contrast then to companies who have no complaints process; who fail to recognise the threefold value of a complaint:
1. Complain to me - gives me a chance to put it right, put a smile on your face and gain your future business ? 2. Complain to me - enables me to check the process and fix the fault or develop an individual, preventing further errors/complaints? 3. Complain to me - and nip it in the bud before my reputation is damaged as you spread the word to family, friends and neighbours - potential Customers.?
How easy is it for your Customers to complain?
Do you welcome complaints?
Do you encourage complaints however small as golden opportunities to improve your processes?