If it’s Broken… FIX IT!

October 8, 2007 | Improving Profits, Process Design | Sandye

Thoughts from Sandye Linnetz, Systems Goddess, Process Prodigy

Com - plaint, noun, a statement that a situation is unsatisfactory or unacceptable

If it ain't broken, don't fix it. If it is broken, fix it. That's the general nature of handling customer complaints. And, speaking of nature... handling customer complaints with "good nature" can mean the difference between a satisfied customer and an ex-customer.

The residual value of customer complaints can be enormous for your company. The result can be seen in dollars if you use good sense. Sales will increase. Performance will improve. Even your productivity and efficiency will grow.

Think of customer complaints as part of your market research. Record and discuss complaints with your team. Use the data to determine how effective you are being in the areas of advertising, service and product. Where are you missing the mark? What needs to "get fixed"? Turn the agony of problems into the joy of opportunities to grow and improve.

And let's mention the money you can save... dissatisfied clients don't spend money with you. Attracting new clients to replace them costs money. A complaint handled quickly and effectively grows your bottom line. Data shows that a customer continues to do business with you - and becomes a more loyal client - when they believe that a complaint has been fairly resolved. And they tell others about it... and you. The recommendation of a satisfied customer brings in more customers. More customers means more money. You win!!!

Handling complaints can be complicated. Sometimes it's hard to identify the actual problem and, frequently the person with the complaint doesn't know what the resolution could or should be. So, step one is simply to listen (and not take it personally). Step two is to thank the person for bringing the situation to your attention (you can't fix a problem if you don't know about it). Step three is to collect the facts (and keep a written record).

The value of an effective complaint-handling process is enormous. Setting up the system for handling complaints is the next topic... stay tuned!

© 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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