I've got a friend of mine who is in the "customer complaint loop of lunacy", which is typical of larger companies. In this particular case, the culprit is Apple, a company we don't normally associate with this kind of behavior.

The "customer complaint loop of lunacy" is where there is no solution to the problem, no ability to actually be able to talk to anyone who can resolve the problem and no imminent solution on the horizon. The entire situation is frozen and incredibly frustrating, made all the worse by countless conversations requiring the entire history of the issue to be explained from the very start, to yet another person.

The aim of any complaint is to have it resolved. If a solution cannot be found, then both the person making the complaint and the business receiving the complaint lose out. Whenever someone makes a complaint, ask them how they would like to see it resolved and then move heaven and earth to resolve it.

Of course, the customer's ideas on how to resolve it won't necessarily agree with the business owner's, but whatever the outcome, it does need to be fair. I have had a number of complaints against businesses that have cost me a lot of money. In one instance I had to pay over $18000 because of a company's negligence.

They offered me $2000 in compensation. This was, of course, ridiculous; what was worse, it was insulting. Finally, they agreed to cover their mistakes and to pay the full amount, but by now the relationship was destroyed and there was no way we could ever do business together again. We both lost in this situation: even though I received full compensation, I lost a good business relationship.

Things go wrong, that's life, that's business. Whatever you do, avoid the "customer complaint loop of lunacy". Be prepared to ask your customer what would be the best solution for them. Initially, you might like it, but think about what you can lose if you don't try to resolve it.

Customers have the ability to be very vocal, they have rights and choice and they have high expectations. Rightly so. Any business that is not able to provide solutions to problems, especially complaints, is in for a challenging future. And many large corporations are yet to figure this out.

Published on: Dec 14, 2017
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