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Customer Complaints

Customer Complaints… Good as Gold?

If you are the owner of a business or the manager of a department, you would want to know when there is a problem with your product or service right? If you know the problem, then you can find solutions to improve. Many times the answers to a problem in your service or product do not lie in survey results, but in customer complaints.

Recently, I lost my ATM card. It was a Saturday when I realized that it was gone. I called the bank’s customer service number to report the card was lost. As I was going through the prompts there was an option to report a lost or stolen card. I followed the prompts and successfully reported it lost. It came down to choosing how I wanted to receive my new card. The choice was standard or rush. Since my life is mostly electronic, I decided to pay a fee and rush the card 2 days.

A week goes by and I had not received my card, so needless to say I was a little frustrated. I called customer service to see what was had happened. The customer service rep who answered my call apologizes and starts to look into what happened. Now up to this point, she had done everything she was supposed to. She then say okay, here is the tracking number for your card. It is coming via a UPS.

I proceeded to look it up online while I am on the phone with her just in case there is a problem. The delivery first had a delayed flight, so it lost one day. It then lost 3 days just sitting in my local UPS hub. I started to say how frustrating this was and the representative immediately got defensive. I also noticed it said that the delivery would require a signature. I then asked her, I am at work, how am I supposed to be sitting at home waiting for this delivery? I didn’t even know it was coming via UPS instead of mail. Her response was “We always do it that way when it’s a rush.” My response, “How am I supposed to know that when your company did not inform me of it?” (Feedback # 1 of what was wrong with their process.)

She was even more defensive at this point, saying they are not responsible for UPS delays. My response was “I know you are not responsible for their delay, my problem is with the fact that you did not tell me about the method of delivery.” (Feedback #2). Her response blew me away. She said, “you should have called for a tracking number on Monday after reporting it lost on Saturday.”  My response… “How would I have known to do that when your automated system said nothing about it?” (Feedback #3).

The conversation went on a little longer with me just trying to get her to see the problem with the  system and not her, then I gave up and just said thank you and goodbye. This company missed a golden opportunity. A customer was right in front of them telling them what the issue was and they missed it. When a customer complains, it means they like you enough to tell you what is wrong. If they didn’t care about your company, they more than likely would just yell in the moment and not come back.

In order to make sure that complaints are viewed as opportunities for improvement, everyone in your organization must be trained to recognize them as that. Not just the managers or owners. As part of your general marketing strategy, the customer experience can play a big role in the success of your marketing efforts.

To learn more about how to find out what your company’s customer experience is like, contact us for consultation.

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