Say "Thank You" to Customer Complaints

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Jul, 25, 2013 @ 06:07 AM

Getting your customers to complain is invaluable


The Corporate Executive Board Financial Services Practice Operations Council released a study which found that 90% of financial services customers do not complain when they have an unsatisfactory experience.

Perhaps this is why four banks and two insurance companies account for six of the top 10 providers of poor customer service (

Operations executives at financial services firms are focused on addressing customer complaints and service problems. 

However, by only focusing on those customers that do complain, operations executives are only addressing the 10% of the problem they know about. Ninety percent of problems are not being addressed.

This situation is not unique to financial services. It's a problem in every industry. This just happens to be the industry study I came across most recently.

The topic goes back to the message on the home page of my website and the title of this post -- "Getting Your Customers to Complain is Invaluable."

As Zig Ziglar said, "Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it.  The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business."

In the Corporate Executive Board study, 80% of customers who don't complain defect.

When I worked on a cellular client's customer satisfaction measurement and improvement business, we had significant data that showed that customers who complained were less likely to churn, move to another carrier, than those who never complained.

That's why getting your customers to complain is invaluable. If they don't say anything, you'll never know what needs improving.

What are you doing to get your customers to complain?

Have you empowered your employees to get customers to complain?  Do they know this is a good thing and not a bad thing?

By the way, when your customers do complain make sure the first two words out of your, or your employees', mouth are "thank you!"

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Tags: improve loyalty and retention, getting your customers to complain is invaluable, customer satisfaction measurement and improvement, empowered employees