I learned a long time ago, there are two kinds of complainers in this world – walkers and talkers.
Walkers are the ones that don’t tell you anything is wrong. They just say “fine” and once they’re out of sight, they never return.
Talkers are the ones who tell you something is wrong. Sometimes very loudly. They might ask to speak to your supervisor. But they let you know they’re unhappy.
Pop quiz…which one do you want to deal with?
IMHO, you should always want a talker. Because talkers give you a chance to fix the problem. And when you fix the problem, you keep the customer and possibly even create a raving fan.
With a walker, you never know what went wrong. You just know the customer is gone. Of course, if this happens too many times…you’re in big trouble.
This doesn’t just apply to dinner at your favorite restaurant or buying shoes at a department store. It also applies in our interactions with employees.
Do you want employees who tell you when things are not right? Or do you just want them to say everything is fine and once they’re out of sight, start looking for another job?
Creating a mechanism for feedback is essential. Whether it’s for your employees or your customers. You need to know what they’re thinking.
Every time you get feedback, acknowledge it and thank the person for it. Someone took a lot of time, energy and possibly guts to give you their opinion. If the feedback is something you don’t agree with or you have no intention of implementing their suggestion, that’s OK. At least thank the person for sharing their thoughts with you.
One of the worst lines I’ve ever heard back after giving feedback is “We don’t agree with you.”
The unspoken rule in customer service is there will always be people you don’t agree with. But you can demonstrate good customer service by saying “Thanks for the feedback. We take all of our customer’s suggestions seriously.” You didn’t commit to doing anything. And you left the door open to get that customer back.
Leveraging the feedback of your customers and employees can be a key competitive advantage. How do you encourage feedback?
Image courtesy of mandiberg