Compliant is a 4-letter Word- And it doesn’t start with F!

I have a new respect for the word ‘complaint’. I’ve heard the phrase “Complaint is a 4-letter word” but to be honest, I did not know it wasn’t a F word.

Last night at the NARI- National Assc. of the Remodeling Industry- monthly meeting in Minneapolis we had Randi Busse from the Workforce Development Group as the keynote speaker. She started by telling a story about her New York limo driver. Randi had researched her limo company ahead of time and the results were not good: dirty, terrible, untimely. To Brandi’s surprise the driver was on time, courteous, and the car was immaculate. She told the driver of what she had expected and that she was pleasantly surprised. The driver was disappointed to know that the online remarks of the limo company were so disparaging. The driver commented, “Customer Service is common sense”.

Brandi asked about the characteristics of our good customer service experiences:

  • Listened to us
  • Asked questions
  • Friendly
  • Empathetic
  • Concerned
  • Made me feel welcomed
  • Went above & beyond
  • Knew what I wanted ahead of time
  • Educated me/ had expertise
  • Consistency
  • Flexible
  • Respectful
  • Thankful for your business
  • Genuine

Seems absolutely like common sense- Treat others like you want to be treated. Nothing new here.

Our group then did the exercise for the characteristics of a bad customer experience. Tons of negative responses, and the most common, “I tried to give them my money but they wouldn’t take it!”

So getting back to complaint being a 4-letter word. The four letter word is GIFT! Huh? Well look at it this way- have you ever been at an ‘OK’ restaurant where you most likely would never go back, but yet when the restaurant manager comes by and asks you “How is everything here tonight?”, your response is “fine”. The issue is that the majority of time, dissatisfied customers don’t say anything. And that’s really a dis-service to the company. When a customer complains it is because they care enough to say something.

Randi’s point for the night is that you don’t want satisfied customers, you want raving fans! All of us, whether we are employers or employees, work for someone else. We all need to take care of the customers (our Bosses!) or someone else will.

Thanks again to Randi Busse of the Workforce Development Group for the excellent message. www.workdevgroup.com

Good Luck

Jason

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