Customer complaints. How do you handle them? In the seven years that have passed since inventRight was founded, we haven’t received many. But the ones we have, we take very seriously. Some of them seem to come out of left field. Is it us? Is it them? Was he or she just having a bad day? It’s hard to know, but at the end of the day, the answer doesn’t really matter: a complaint is a complaint.
We recently received a complaint from a customer in the UK. He wasn’t happy with our program. He didn’t criticize the content, but was very unhappy with the packaging. That’s something you just don’t want to hear. If one person feels this way, it’s likely other people do too. And unfortunately, a happy customer is likely to tell several friends about his positive experience. But an unhappy customer? He or she is likely to inform everyone!
We pride ourselves on our customer service and listen very closely to the criticism we receive. We responded as promptly as possibly, offering to return his payment in full (as our guarantee promises), assuring him that we took his evaluation seriously, and admitting that we agreed with some of his statements. But most importantly, we offered several other services for free. He needed to know that we still had his interests in mind. A good business does more than simply sell a product – it meets a customer’s needs.
When a customer feels satisfied, a positive relationship has been established. He knows we’re a business he can trust. Establishing trust is better for all parties involved; the customer feels as though he or she has been heard and our image is intact. As a small business owner, it is sometimes hard not to take criticisms and complaints personally. Don’t let them offend you! Take customer complaints seriously and address them promptly, but then brush them off.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 25 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight, a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas and the skills needed to succeed. You can ask questions and get advice on the inventRight forum, check out the resource center, and listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.