The Coach's Corner

How does your company handle customer/client complaints?

April 15th, 2013 // Tom Doescher //

Last winter we returned to our favorite place to ski in Colorado. In order to utilize our many frequent flyer miles, we had to take a flight that deposited us about three hours away from our destination. That meant we had to reserve a shuttle. Prior to our departure date we were contacted multiple times by the shuttle service, confirming our reservation — sometimes with the wrong date and/or time. Honestly, we thought we had a 50-50 chance of getting picked up. To our delight, the shuttle driver was waiting, with our name on a placard, upon our arrival. During our three-hour journey, we told the driver about our experience with his shuttle service. We related the story of the many phone calls we had received, and told him how the calls and misinformation had created a great deal of anxiety. He gave us the name of the owner and said she would love to know about our experience.

On about the fourth day of our vacation, despite the fact that the sole purpose of the trip was relaxation, I decided to call the owner of the shuttle service. Due to our driver’s strong encouragement, I thought it would be the right thing to do. And what was the owner’s reaction? You guessed it. She was very defensive, and cut me off several times. I finally terminated the call. When I got off the phone, I was angry, frustrated, and offended. After all, I was just trying to help a fellow businessperson.

How do you and your associates respond to legitimate service complaints? Are you willing to listen? We believe world-class businesses convert these situations into opportunities to create loyal customers/clients.

p.s. I didn’t say it is easy. If you click this link ( power point), you will go to a December presentation on Having Effective Difficult Customer Conversations.

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The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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