Complaints Can Grow Your Company

October 6, 2007 | Improving Profits, Process Design | Sandye

Thoughts from Sandye Linnetz, Systems Goddess, Process Prodigy

Just because you don't "hear" a lot of complaints from your clients, don't assume that you don't have dissatisfied customers. Chances are that you will never hear from most of them. Studies show that between 85% and 95% of those "upset" folks will never bother to let you know about it. For every complaint that you do hear about, there are likely to be 20 or 30 more - some quite serious - that never get expressed.

When your customers share their complaints with you, they are actually doing you a huge favor! Not only can you "fix" a problem that you may have been unaware of; you now have the opportunity to win back those customers and keep their business. You have been given a gift that will earn dollars. Resolve complaints and win back 50% - 75% of those customers you could have lost... without ever knowing "why"? When customers' complaints are handled in a timely and positive way... over 90% of them are going to become loyal customers and tell their friends the story. Apparently statistics show that a good experience will be shared with an average of 5 other people. Some of them will become your new customers. Nice way to grow your client base, huh?

Word of mouth advertising can be so powerful. If your business is going to be discussed around the water cooler or dining room table, let the good words be out there!

Let's review the stats...

More than 25% of your dissatisfied customers will NOT register a complaint. (What can you do to encourage feedback?)

Over half of those non-complainers don't complain because they don't think it will do any good. (What policies and systems can you put into place so that your customers KNOW that all complaints will be addressed and handled?)

Each unhappy customer will likely share the "bad news" with about 10 other people. (Happy customers with 5)

About 90% of your dissatisfied customers will stop doing business with you. (Keep 'em happy or lose 'em)

Less than 75% of those who have complaints will actually voice them to you. (Encourage your customers to let you know about their experiences with your company.)

More than half of those clients who do complain are not satisfied with the way their complaint was handled. (Develop policies, processes and systems to handle complaints.)

Remember: it costs about five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.
Watch for more in this series about the value of complaints...

© 2007 Beth Schneider.

Want to reprint this article? Feel free as long as you include the following: "Beth Schneider, Chief Infopreneur of Process Prodigy, is a business process consultant who helps solo-entrepreneurs, small business owners and network marketers who want to systemize their business to increase profits, increase productivity and grow their business without having to give up the family oriented, flexible, balanced lifestyle they desire. Beth works one-on-one with her clients, offers home study courses, and teleclass boot camps. For more information visit and sign up for your FREE 5-Step Process Starter Kit and FREE Process Tips. Also, visit Process Prodigy's family sites and

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