The Complain Quotient

October 10, 2007 | Process Design | Sandye

Thoughts from Sandye Linnetz, Systems Goddess, Process Prodigy

Unless your customers are fully satisfied with your company's service and product, there is a complaint in the air. While the complaint may never be voiced, that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist... that it doesn't somehow effect and influence how - and with whom - you do business. An unsatisfied/unhappy client will not spend as much money as a satisfied/happy client; and may choose not to do business with your company at all. Damaging word-of-mouth advertising may be out there destroying the business you work so hard to build. Here's the saddest part: you may never even know about it!

So, whatdaya do? Simple. Encourage feedback and find out how you are doing on the satisfaction scale. Determine your complaint quotient. We all love a compliment, yet few of us welcome complaints. Looks like it may be time to make the complaint your friend.

The process for handling a customer complaint should be straightforward:

  1. LISTEN (You may not agree, but you must listen without judgment. EVERYONE wants to be heard.)
  2. ASSESS (Do the homework and determine if the complaint is valid. Talk to the people involved.)
  3. RECORD (Create and maintain a complete complaint log. Include customer contact info, date, nature of the problem and your assessment.)
  4. RESOLVE (Determine what action needs to be taken to create satisfaction, straighten things out and repair the "breakdown".)
  5. ADJUST (Policies may need to be developed or changed within your organization.)

Setting up an effective SYSTEM for following this process - and seeing that it is uniformly used within your company - will have an enormous impact on your company's success and reputation.

Ask yourself these CUSTOMER SERVICE questions:

  • How do we know how we are doing?
  • How do we find out where there is a breakdown?
  • How often do we get complaints?
  • Who handles complaints?
  • Do we discuss "problems" as a team?
  • Where are complaints recorded?
  • How do we know when a problem has been solved?
  • What is our system for following up on customer satisfaction?

Once you have answered these questions you will have a clear idea of where you are now. Decide where you want to be. Write it down. Brainstorm on how to get there. Write those ideas down, too.

The system you create is your roadmap for getting there! Have a great trip!

© 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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