A few weeks ago, I talked about customer complaints and how to deal with them, limiting the problems often associated with complaints from customers.
Today, I want to provide an insight into how any small business can take advantage of a complaining customer, whether they’ve passed on a slightly negative comment while being served or they’ve raised a formal complaint after an experience with your business.
1. Understand there was a need to complain
One of the most important things to remember about any customer complaint is that there was a need for the customer to complain.
It may not have been a major complaint, nor one that means you can actually do anything as a result of receiving it, but there needs to be a constant understanding that if a customer complains, they didn’t like some part of your customer experience – and you need to find out why.
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2. Realise that quantity = quality
In various parts of business, quality prevails over quantity. When it comes to managing the complaints you receive from customers, however, although quantity is important, the more complaints you receive, the more intelligence you have to utilise for development purposes.
Therefore, it’s important you don’t feel angered or upset at customers complaining and you don’t attempt to discourage complaints – the truth is you should be doing the converse and actively encouraging your customers to pass on their feedback, positive or negative.
3. You should never stop developing
Just because you think your small business is running smoothly, you’re seeing a regular stream of customers and your profits are healthy, you should never think you can’t develop further.
If your customers are complaining, it means you’re not doing something right. If lots of customers are complaining about various different aspects, it means that no matter how good you think your small business is, it’s not as good as you believe it is.
Listen to your customers and try something new. If it works, great, roll it out permanently. If it doesn’t, try something else.
But whatever you do, never stop developing – as soon as you do this, you’ll become complacent and complacency is one of the worst business qualities to posses.
The basis upon which all businesses thrive and develop is their customers activities and if customers aren’t happy, they aren’t going to make a purchase and they’re likely to complain – and when they do complain, you need to be able to understand the complaints, learn from them and ensure your business thrives and moves forward because of them.
This article was originally featured on April 24, 2012.