So why should you care so much about nay sayers?
· If they don't complain to you, they'll complain to others - And that's a big problem. Not only will you lose them as customers, you will lose others as well. According to the 2005 TARP study, an unhappy customer will share his displeasure with at least another dozen people. So instead of losing one client, you'll actually stand to lose 13. That's a situation you must avoid at all costs. The study reveals that only four percent ever let businessmen know about their discontent, leaving a huge 96 percent potentially losing you customers. Yikes!
· The customer who complains is a customer who cares – In other words, you're losing a good customer. The kind of customer who will stick by you and possibly bring others. Think of it this way. To complain takes time. Most dissatisfied clients say absolutely nothing and take their business elsewhere. Complaining clients will take that time to tell you what's wrong. This is something that should be appreciated at just value.
· They will tell you about the bad things you missed – The outside eye sees things clearer than your inside eye. Customers are also very precise and they'll help you get straight to the root of the problem.
· They can become your most loyal customers – These clients will afterward stick by you because you showed you care about their opinions, and then endeavored to give them the best service available.
The conclusion is that a complaint isn't in fact a complain at all. It's actually priceless advice.
Now that we've established that it's better to listen and put in practice customer advice, it's time to explore some methods of getting that advice.
· Ask for complains – It's the easiest and the simplest way possible. Your clients will know you care about serving them better and that's an extra benefit right there. You should even aim to getting a regular stream of complains.
· Make it easy for your clients to contact you – It's excellent if you can afford a special phone line for complains (preferably toll-free), but if you can't a regular line will do. Get an email address, and this one you can keep for complains only. No matter what contact method you use, include that information in all your marketing collaterals as well as on your website. Make sure all your clients know how, where and to whom to complain.
· Make a habit out of asking for feed-back – Ten days or so after you've concluded a deal, give them a phone call, or send an email or a postcard. After thanking them for doing business with you, ask them if they have any complains and suggestions. Be sure to let them know they won't encounter the same problems again.
· Include a complaint and suggestion form for every product – It's extremely easy to give each client a short form to fill in after you've finished doing business. But bear in mind to add this form to an actual discussion (before or after you get the form). Written complains and surveys can be vague and you will miss on important information.
· You can even implement a reward system for complaining. - Reward customers for complaining? Sounds a bit mad, doesn't it? Not so. Remember, complaining customers are doing you a favor. They're taking the time to think of you and your business. They're helping you. So show your appreciation with a nice gift, coupon or anything else that might motivate them. Big companies pay serious money for a service you're getting for free.
We hope we've convinced you about the value of customer complaint. So next time a customer gripes, be happy about it.