Complaints are a valuable asset to any organization, once you can ensure that your people are willing to play. And to get them with you, they need to know that it’s not personal.
There is no greater value than that to be gleaned from your customers and clients who are prepared to take the time to give you feedback – which is a much more constructive way to describe a complaint.
These gold nuggets are literally worth their weight, when you are able to capture, dissect and respond positively to what you find out. Yet many organizations revel in low complaint rates!
The key to this is your people – all of them. It’s about turning them from being fearful of when a complaint comes in, to positively gleeful, because of the enormous opportunity it presents.
By ensuring that every one of them is geared up to sense when things aren’t going well, you will create an army of willing volunteers who are ready for action. Their job is to seek out and get to the bottom of any dissatisfaction they perceive.
This has to happen in the moment, all the time, or it will have passed and the opportunity will have disappeared into the anonymity of an ended phone call; a person now back out on the street; or the lost data storage of an online interaction that never sees the light of day.
It needs to be pro-actively sought, not passively responded to – or worse, swept under the carpet with the hope it will go away.
By encouraging your people to engage and interact with their clients, in any way at all, they will be able to get under the tough skin of a dissatisfied customer ‘not wanting to make a fuss’. They have to smell it out or it will slink away, unspoken, which is of no use at all to you.
They will probably capture more customer dissatisfaction, than you expect, especially to start with.
And when they do, it’s to be applauded. It’s to be celebrated.
Working as a team to find out critical information from those who have it, is a tactic any manager can adopt to ensure that customer service progresses, whilst also building the team togetherness ethic in a constructive, value-creating way.
By encouraging each and every one of them to engage their clients in any way they can, will make the conversation much more open and relaxed – and valuable.
Because, with this in place, many of your customers can easily be asked what they would love changed if they had the choice in the experience they have most recently had.
And that gives you – and your team – the vital intelligence to make your offer even better than it already is.
(c) 2010 Martin Haworth. This is a short excerpt from one of 52 lessons in management development at Super Successful Manager!, an easy to use, step-by-step weekly development program for managers of EVERY skill level. Find out more at http://www.SuperSuccessfulManager.com.