Last week was my birthday. We celebrated by having a mains water leak, directly into our home.
Not the perfect way to spend what should have been a fun-filled Friday. But it was interesting – to say the least.
We had two very different plumbers.
The first was, let’s say (and I’m being kind here) not the sharpest tool in the box. He left leaving the job worse than the one he’d found, meaning we had to turn off the mains supply to the whole house. No water for my birthday. I flipped it – we had beer.
The next morning a second plumber turned up. He was brilliant.
We asked how we could compliment him to his boss. He kindly showed us an NPS survey and he even gave us his boss’s telephone number, so we could send him a message.
It was interesting that both Christine and I were really happy to compliment him but less so to complain about the first chap.
I started to think about why we don’t complain and wondered if others had similar thoughts.
To test my theory, I carried out some detailed research (also known as setting up a LinkedIn poll) and asked the question ‘Why don’t you complain?’
51% thought their complaint wouldn’t make a difference. A further 32% said they just couldn’t be a@#!d.
Many responded with, ‘But Michael, I do complain!‘ Not actually answering my question, but then I’m not complaining 😉
How would you feel if someone had a complaint about your organisation – or even worse, about you?
Would you treat it as ‘a gift’?
Would your first reaction be ‘Think what we can learn from it’?
Or might you become defensive?
Considering how many people don’t generally bother, isn’t it time for us to welcome and act on complaints – especially when our customers have the courage and the reason to pass one on?
PS Please leave your thoughts and comments below. I’ll send a copy of my book 5 Star Service to our favourite.