If Mrs Heppell wasn’t Mrs Heppell I’d complain a lot more.
She’s my complaint barometer, making sure that when things go wrong I’m less Victor Meldrew and more Dalai Lama.
‘But how will they learn?’, I protest.
‘It’s not your job to tell everyone where they’re going wrong with their customer service’.
It’s usually at this point where I think… actually it is!
But back to complaining.
Do you complain? If something isn’t right and you’re expecting better than what’s being offered, do you speak up?
In 5 Star Service I wrote a whole chapter entitled ‘Beware the Silent Customer’.
This group of quiet consumers vote with their feet, never sharing what’s wrong, just peacefully moving themselves and their money somewhere else.
So if the popular adage ‘Complaints are a gift’ is true why don’t people like receiving these ‘presents’?
Because they’re not a gift. They’re a slight, a criticism of you, the company you choose to work for and the emotional capital you’ve invested.
Even if you have genuinely dropped the ball, do you really want to hear about it?
That’s why the magic mix of confidence, humility and desire (to fix) need to be taught to everyone who may receive a complaint.
And for your customer, an opportunity to feedback in an environment where they feel listened to and their comments taken on board, will make them feel valued.
A who knows you may just learn something.