What kind of company do you want to be? The one that hides from bad news, pretending it doesn’t exist, or the kind that understands that bad news is just another opportunity to turn a situation around and offer great client service?

Check out the table below, compiled by customer service experts Natalia Scriabina and Sergiy Fomichov, and think about how you want customer complaints to be perceived and tackled in your organization:

You responded mostly Bs, right? Sure you did, cause you’re a smart cookie. Creating a culture that is receptive to customer complaints and knows how to tackle them will make you a stronger, more adaptive organization.

Listening to customer complaints is educational and humbling. It tells you what your client doesn’t like about your product or service, and gives you an opening to respond and find a solution. And sharing client issues with your entire team is actually beneficial. It offers your team insight into what other clients might be thinking but might not be saying. Then you can engage the team to seek solutions to address these client issues.

This approach also has the added benefit of increased client loyalty. Remember what we said in Chapter 12, that customers who are satisfied after a complaint are 50% more loyal than dissatisfied customers? Imagine the loyalty—and the great word of mouth that comes with it—that you’ll start earning with your proactive, complaint-receptive team.

Quick Tip:


Sharing customer feedback, especially negative feedback, should not be a negative event. It should be embraced as a learning and problem-solving opportunity. The following process creates just that scenario, encouraging employees to accept complaints rather than hide from them.

  • Account managers gather complaints: Ask your account managers or customer service reps to compile questions or concerns they’ve received from clients.
  • Review regularly: Schedule a recurring meeting where these issues are discussed. It can be rolled into your weekly or bi-weekly sales or account manager meeting if you want to be more efficient.
  • Discuss solutions: As a team, discuss ideas about how to best resolve the complaint. Groupthink is a great way to circle-in on targeted solutions.
  • All ideas are good ideas: This should be a collaborative activity, which means no one should be shot down for seemingly off-the-wall ideas. After all, you never know when a hair-brained idea evolves into a brilliant one.
  • Share across teams: Don’t forget to share client concerns across all your teams. It’ll help your product team understand how to improve upon your product, your marketing team to know if additional education or collateral is needed, and of course your management team to know what the customer really wants.

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