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A Complaining Customer Is a Gift

A shocking statistic is that only 2% of unhappy customers will make their problems known to you. Thirty-four percent of customers will leave you after having a bad experience. Let’s assume that the 2% who voiced a complaint didn’t end up leaving because you solved their problem. That means when the 34 people out of the 100 unhappy customers leave you, you will have no clue why.

This is precisely the reason why I believe we must consider that The Complaining Customer Is a Gift. Culturally within our companies, we must embrace the complaining customer and train our people to think like the same way.

A customer that tells us what’s wrong and why they are unhappy is a blessing.

  • It gives us an excellent opportunity to fix something for the customer and hopefully turn them from dissatisfaction with our company to perhaps even a raving fan, and
  • It enlightens us to a process that might need to be changed in our company, and subsequently institutionalized.

How easy do you make it for a customer to lodge a complaint? Is it easy for them on your website? Are there phone numbers readily available to your customer service team? Do your invoices have your company’s phone number on them? Check all your customer touchpoints….is it easy for you to hear what your customer wants you to know?

By solving their issues efficiently and effectively, you will hopefully not only save them as a customer in that particular transaction but also keep them for the future. How much is that worth?

Institutionalizing the new process keeps your commitment to total quality improvement within your company, as well, and reduces the likelihood that you’ll hear that same complaint again.

It will positively affect the morale and teamwork in your company culture when everyone works together to see the complaining customer as a gift and everyone’s common mission is to solve the problem of the complaining customer.


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