Dear Customer, You are Cordially Invited to Complain

Inviting Customers to ComplainInviting your customers to complain seems counter-intuitive to good business practices. You want to put your best foot forward with your customers. Why would you ask them to look for the things you do wrong?

If you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, you can’t fix it.

Some of the complaints will be petty. “I don’t like the customer service representatives saying ‘Good Day’. They should say ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Good Afternoon’ or ‘Good Evening’ instead.”

Others will be unrealistic. “I wish that you would offer 75% off sales on bestsellers and include free shipping with every order. Your prices are too high. If you reduced them, I would buy more.”

But, then there are those special complaints that catch you off guard and genuinely help you improve your business. “When I tried to place an online order, your page took so long to load, it kept timing out.” Or, “Your customer service representative said that the lamp wasn’t available in blue, but I found it on your competitors’ site.” Or, “The special promotion item I ordered fell apart the first time I tried to use it.”

Who can tell you what you’re doing wrong better that your customers?

They know from first hand experience what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that make the difference between satisfaction and “I’m never shopping there again.” Even when you invite your customers to complain, most won’t do it unless your service is really bad.

Treasure the ones who do. Listen to what they are saying, research the issue, and resolve it when appropriate. Along the way, you may find your next big idea.

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