If You’re Unhappy, Complain!

Nobody likes a complainer. But you may just be doing the company a favor by bringing a quality control issue to their attention!

In my business, I often solicit feedback from past customers, to find out what we did right, and where we could improve on. It’s a proactive approach, but in the world of etailing, you’re not likely to hear about dissatistied customers – You just won’t hear from them again!

In the “real world”, do you voice your complaints if something isn’t up to your standards? Whether it’d bad service at a restaurant, a product you purchased that failed prematurely, or any other issue that needs to be addressed, you should let the company know. You might just be surprised with their response.

Here are some examples:

1) We’ve been going to a particular steakhouse for over a year, driving almost 40 miles to get there. The average meal for two costs a little over $100. It’s an amazing dinner, and we always look forward to it. Recently, they opened up a location literally 5 minutes from our home. So naturally, we had to go. Unfortunately, the level of service there wasn’t up to par at all. It was an absolute nightmare, and if I was a first-time diner, I’d never come back!

So I e-mailed them through their website, and told them of my experience. A manager contacted me, we ended up talking on the phone about the issues from the other night, and he vowed to personally address each and every concern of mine.

A few days later, I received a letter in the mail from the restaurant, along with a $100 dining voucher to use on our next visit! They wanted me back, and I was happy to give them another chance. And I’m happy to say that our next visit was perfect, the way it should have been the first time around. Had I not voiced my opinion, they may have continued down that path for some time before fixing their issues.

2) My wife had an expensive ceramic hair dryer fail on her about a month after the warranty expired. With nothing to lose, she e-mailed them through their website, and told them about her situation. Given the price and perceived quality of the product, there’s no way it should have quit so suddenly. And the company agreed. They asked her to mail the hair dryer back to them (so they could see what failed), and they sent her a brand new one at no charge! (Other than the cost to ship the old hair dryer back)

3) On the flip side, we had a customer that was unhappy with a product they purchased from us. Mind you, there was nothing wrong with the product itself – They just felt that they paid too much for it! And our “All Sales Final / No Returns” policy didn’t leave him any recourse. Most people will just accept the fact that they made a mistake, but this guy was determined to make my life hell.

Long story short, we ended up refunding him a portion of his money, and broke even on the sale. Will he ever buy from us again? Probably not. But the time and effort it would have taken to fight a chargeback wasn’t worth it. Plus, we didn’t want anyone smearing our reputation on the web, especially over something so small and insignificant.

Food for thought!

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