Summary of Complaint Management Excellence

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Many companies minimize or even ignore customer complaints. As customer service consultant Sarah Cook explains, such a policy is always counterproductive. Complaints can guide astute businesses to improve their products and services and their relationships with their clients. Cook’s insightful manual teaches firms how to turn objections into opportunities to win customer loyalty. In Cook’s view, every complaint your organization handles well converts an unhappy buyer into a happy one, secures future loyalty and leads your company to the root causes of its problems. Although much of Cook’s advice already is – or should be – second nature at most successful service organizations, her manual is a timely reminder that in difficult economic times the customer rules. getAbstract recommends Cook’s advice to customer service professionals and to managers looking to improve responsiveness to consumers and, thus, their profits.

About the Author

Sarah Cook is managing director of The Stairway Consultancy Ltd., a British firm that designs and delivers customized learning and development programs.



Welcome Complaints

As consumers become more sophisticated, they become more demanding. People want great service and are not reluctant to protest, often vociferously, when they do not get what they expect. With the Internet’s multiple, accessible, interactive communication channels, especially social media, unhappy customers now have many ways to register their displeasure: They complain to the world and the world listens.

Organizations are not perfect. They make mistakes. When they do, protests from clients are the natural result. A call, email or letter from an angry customer represents a significant opportunity for the organization on the receiving end:

  1. It can handle the grievance in a desultory fashion and further anger the complainant. It can ignore the alert and turn the complainant into a bitter enemy.
  2. It can solve the problem quickly and watch with pleasure as the former complainer becomes a fanatically loyal customer who touts the company at every opportunity.

Organizations must use customer complaints to improve operations and to rectify problems so they do not recur.

While consumers are now more...

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