Customer complaints. Do you self protect or problem solve?

man holding telephone screaming

When customers complain, what do they want? A lot of business people immediately think they want their money back or they just want stuff for free, but is that true?

I don’t think so. When I am a customer, I want things fixed. I want to be done right by. I want an apology or other recognition that I deserve better. I want to be acknowledged as the priority. My first thought is not to get my money back or to get whatever it is for free.

However, so many companies, when customers complain, jump into self-protection mode out of fear that they might lose some revenue. This is when you start hearing about policies or how “things have always been this way” or “it’s all in the small print” or whatever allows the business to do what they do and feel right in doing it.

But this only serves, at least for me anyway, to increase my ire. I hate hearing the word policy. In my experience, there are only two reasons for policies. One is to protect customers from danger that might send someone to the hospital and the other is to protect the company from something that might hurt them. More often than not, those policies seem to be there for the latter.

Whenever I hear someone say, “It’s our policy,” it sends shivers up my spine and gets my hackles up because what I really hear is, “We have a rule in place so we don’t get hurt regardless of what happens to you, the person who pays our paychecks.”

So, what about your business? What do you do when a customer complains? Do you jump into self-protection mode or do you apologize and do whatever you can to fix things and make the customer feel like the priority? If you don’t know, pick up the phone and call your company and make a complaint. Listen. What do you get? If it’s policy, policy, policy, you need to make a change.

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