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Complaints are good

If you’ve ever had someone complain to you, you might not agree with the title of this section. If you never had anyone complain to you - you don’t listen very carefully!

Take a minute and think about it. If you yourself are not satisfied with a service or a product, what do you do?

Do you complain every single time?

Do you have the feeling someone takes you seriously if you complain?

Most of the times, we don’t complain because it is too much effort and usually yields minimal returns.

What does that tell us about someone complaining to us? It means it is actually as much effort for him to complain, than it is for us to listen and take him serious.

It is important that he feels we take him seriously. Otherwise he might never complain to you again. Why is this bad? Because, he will complain again to someone else! He will walk around and badmouth your product or service. This is the worst possible outcome, as there is by that point nothing you can do about it. He already complained to you before and you didn’t take him seriously, why should he try again with you?

Change your mindset and take complaints as something positive:

Your customers or colleagues want to give you valuable business feedback.

Many use the term feedback as a better word for “complaint” but it doesn’t change anything. At first, complaints will make you defensive, as we are usually attached to our products or services.

Don’t be; accept that things go wrong in business. Accept that you yourself or your product might not be perfect. See this as an opportunity to get closer to perfection by listening carefully to the complaint and taking whatever action possible, depending on available resources. This might only be an acknowledgement of the complaint and acceptance that your product - designed and produced under the 80:20 principle - is not perfect and never will be.

And yes, there are unwarranted complaints from time to time, but these are the exception and not the rule. Ensure that you take every complaint seriously.