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A Complaint Is A Gift

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A Complaint Is A Gift

Using Customer Feedback as a Strategic Tool


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Tis truly better to give such a gift than to receive.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • For Beginners


At a time where companies spend millions to attract new customers, this book offers low-cost methods for keeping the customers you already have. Authors Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller advocate using customer complaints to help your business grow. This highly readable book achieves a perfect balance of general information backed up by hard, statistical data. While this book is written for "anyone who deals with customers and who would like to benefit from customer feedback," the end of the book focuses more on steps top-level managers can take to implement a "complaint-friendly organization." getAbstract recommends this book to managers and to people in front-line, customer service positions. Giving a copy of this book to your front-line personnel would be an excellent first step toward making your organization complaint friendly.


Complaints Are Your Lifeline to the Customer

Complaints are a strategic tool you can use to increase your business. View complaints as gifts from your customers. Use the information that complaints generate to make your business grow. Complaints are a source of consumer and market information. They can become the foundation for your company’s quality and service recovery programs. Welcome complaining customers. Make them want to give you their feedback.

Complaining customers give you an opportunity to find out what their problem is, so you can help them and so they can keep being your customer. Pretend they are giving you, as a gift, a book entitled, A Chance to Survive: Listen to Me and You’ll Stay in Business. Accept this gift graciously and thank your customer for giving it to you.

How to Accept a Complaint as a Gift

Use these eight fundamental techniques to handle complaints. They make up "The Gift Formula," and, ideally, should be carried out in order.

  1. Always say, "Thank you." It doesn’t matter at this point whether or not the customer’s complaint is legitimate. When you receive a gift, you say "thank you," you don’t ask where...

About the Authors

Janelle Barlow, Ph.D. studied political science and education, and developed the management training program "Unbind your Mind: The Freedom" to be creative. She is the author of The Stress Manager. Claus Moller is the author of Putting People First, Personal Quality and My Life Tree. He was named "European Quality Guru" by the British Department of Trade and Industry in 1991.

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