On Customer Complaints

A dissatisfied customer who doesn’t complain won’t be a customer for long.

Think about it. What is the underlying reason behind customer complaints? Is it because the customer just wants to lash at you one last time before she goes to the competition? I doubt if that’s even true 1/3 of the time. If the customer can go straight to your competitor, what does she care about you? She’s not being paid to help you improve your product!

Remember, she’s the one paying you with the expectation that you’ll deliver as promised. When your customer complains, whether politely or with a vengeance, it’s usually because, at the back of her head, she expects to come back at least one more time in the future to purchase your product. Treat her with respect and, if possible, engage in a healthy communication process with her to learn about how you can improve your product offering. It’s the least you can do.

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3 Comments

Filed under Customer Relationship, Marketing

3 responses to “On Customer Complaints

  1. Alp Senturk

    Dear Mark,
    First of all thank you for this very helpful blog. About customer complaints I wanted to add something. I think this is also related with the “Customer as the Co-Producer” topic in Vargo&Lusch’s article. I think customer complaints are a great resource of information to improve or re-create goods or services for companies which are pursuing a service dominant logic of marketing.
    What do you think?

  2. Ah, yes of course! 🙂 Why didn’t I make that link earlier? Thanks for pointing that out Alp.

    Your comment and the above blog post is also linked to one of the points made by the 2006 Global CEO Study which says that CEOs consider customers a more valuable source of innovation than internal R&D.

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