Our most powerful instinct is to avoid customer complaints, but they may be the best thing that happens to your business. Here's why...
Marketing research shows that only 1 out 50 unhappy customers take the time to complain... to you. They are likely to let 11 of their friends in on the fact that they are unhappy, but don't feel comfortable letting you know. What happens to the 49 unhappy customers who don't complain? Besides griping to 11 friends and family members, they'll just change products or places of business.
Complaining Customers Are A Bonus
Let's forget about the fact that complaining customers aren't always polite or fun to deal with. What's really happening when they let you know that you didn't meet their expectations?
1. They are giving you the opportunity to fix the problem and keep them as customers.
2. Let you in on problems that may have turned 49 other customers away.
Yeah, I know... I dread them too, but they are tools for growing your business. How easy is it for your customers to let you know they are dissatisfied with your product or service? Make it easy by...
1. Offering a toll-free complaint hotline.
2. Make customer satisfaction surveys available.
3. Send follow up postcards after the purchase.
4. Make a place on your Website for customer complaints.
The Unhappy Customer's Options
An unhappy customer can do one of four things:
1. Keep silent
2. File a lawsuit or report you to an government agency
3. Give you bad word-of-mouth advertising
4. Complain to you
Remember that your customers and clients know your businesses strengths and weaknesses much better than you do! They have first-hand experience to make their judgment from. When a customer takes the time to let you know what you need to improve you truly owe them a thank you! And don't forget... an unhappy customer that you turn into a happy customer becomes a loyal, life-long customer. Yeah, customer complaints pay off in the long run.
Copyright 2005 Cutts Group, llc
Who is Allyn Cutts, and why should you care?
Allyn has spent over 24 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales to current customers. Allyn is a marketing and sales fanatic, providing measurable marketing solutions that drive huge results for small-to mid-size business clients. Allyn works personally with clients to design and deliver off-line and on-line direct marketing strategies that focus on metrics and measurable results. You can learn more about Allyn Cutts at http://www.AllynCutts.com and you can call 610.437.4106 between 10 AM and 4 PM Eastern Time Tuesdays and Thursdays.