Smart companies expect their customers to complain

Smart companies expect their customers to complain

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Expect – in the sense that they are ready to act immediately should anything go wrong. They do so with grace, speed and humanity. They apologise when it’s appropriate. They move quickly. They recognise the loyalty opportunity of doing right by people.

By contrast, isn’t it amazing how many companies still believe that if they ignore or belittle your complaint or dispute, your problem will go away? You’ll lose interest or momentum, or you won’t have time, or they’ll just look to sell you something else in the meantime “while we sort this little matter out”.

So they send you a complicated process to keep you busy.

Or they tell you that’s something you’ll have to take up with the sub-sub-contractor.

Or they deny it even happened and ask you to provide written proof.

Or they send you a lawyer’s letter that says nothing but seems threatening and indignant.

Or they wait for you to ring them … and of course, when you do, they’re out or in a meeting or overseas …

Deep down they probably know delays like this kill the relationship. But they’re too busy to care or do anything about it. Why? Because there’s nothing in their performance bonus that recognises being decent to people. And they think doing nothing saves them money. And because they or someone else in the building is trying to find new customers of course. To replace you. That’s their job.

The next time someone contacts your organisation to raise a concern or complaint, do your people know exactly what to do?

Your brand is in every response.

Photo of “Waiting” taken by Petr Dosek, sourced from Flickr


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