Monday, May 23, 2011


All weekend I have been working on a few changes in my practice and have been sitting in a lot of coffee shops and libraries over the past few days and I really find those places intriguing.  Not in the sense of the building, or even the products which they offer, rather the people that show up there…And really it made me think about how much I complain about things and how funny it must sound to others when they hear me complaining…just as it was comical to hear them complain at the various places I was trying find solitude and trying to escape people so I could focus…My coffee is too hot (really?? Would you prefer it cold?), Can I get nonfat milk please this is just too thick.( let's do the Pepsi challenge here, I assure you that I blind fold you, TELL you that its nonfat milk, and magically you're happy!), and my favorite of the weekend - Do you have this book in hardback, I cannot read it like this. (I don’t even know what to say to this?) 

"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." - Zig Ziglar 

It wasn't something that I learned quickly, but slowly I began to look upon complaining customers as an opportunity. In sales training, I would state that until a customer complains or has a problem, they really don't know how you as a person or as a company will perform. If the complaint or problem is solved smoothly and efficiently, the customer then has the opportunity to not only know for certain how you or your company performs, thereby gaining in trust, but they also have the opportunity to become an advocate and help you grow your business.

It's not like we want complaints, but I think we need them. I know this, for sure and for certain (always loved that phrase. . .), that I would much rather have a complaint than a client feeling poor about our company or performance and then not saying anything at all to us. The likelihood of that person saying poor things to a lot of other people is strong. I prefer to hear it directly--even in my face, so to speak.

This is not a theory. It has proven itself consistently over time and in operation of several businesses including my own. Since this has been true, I find myself looking forward to complaints--at least from that perspective.

This has also been proven: in an extremely high percentage of those that complain, regardless of the size of the fault, they then become advocates and do more business and send more business. Seriously true! From that perspective, I LOVE COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS! I am now in the business of finding complaints!

Now, the key is how the problem or complaint is received and how smoothly it is retired. There is no room for making excuses, blaming others and so on. We must accept it head-on by accepting responsibility for taking charge of the solution and care of the complainer at the same time. It's really no more than the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we had a problem or complaint, we would want prompt attention to solution, and we would detest blame and excuses, don't you think?

I suppose we could say, success is dealing with problems--effectively.

My weekend although spent in solitude of the coffee shops and libraries was actually quite filled with learning experiences…I must, and I will, seek out those things that make me uncomfortable, The Complainers!  

Take Care and wish you all the very best in business and Life

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