INSTANT MBA: Be Grateful For Complainers, They Alert You To Real Problems

Roxanne Emmerich

Today’s lesson comes from the founder and CEO of The Emmerich Group Roxanne Emmerich:

“Complaints are the MRIs of the business world. Knowing about a problem lurking under the surface can literally save the life of your business.

The reason is clear: just 4 per cent of those who have complaints actually voice those complaints, meaning 96 per cent of your dissatisfied customers will not bother to let you know.

 The out-loud complainer has done you an enormous favour. By breaking the silence, he or she has given you a fighting chance to find and fix the problem before the complaint spreads to other customers and potential customers.

 It’s critical to create a complaint response plan. Don’t just mollify the complainer — that won’t reach the Silent 24. Instead, you’ll want to assess, learn and reward:

   1. Assess the problem and take action to change the core system that created it in the first place;

   2. Learn from the problem to avoid duplicating it in the future; and

   3. Reward the complainer in no uncertain terms.”


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