A Complaint Is a Gift | Janelle Barlow

Summary of: A Complaint Is a Gift: Recovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong
By: Janelle Barlow


Discover the transformative power of customer complaints as you delve into Janelle Barlow’s compelling book, ‘A Complaint Is a Gift: Recovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong’. Learn to view customer objections as invaluable gifts that can help grow your business and unlock new avenues for customer interaction. Grasp how to welcome complaints and use them as the foundation for your company’s quality and service recovery programs. The book equips you with ‘The Gift Formula’, outlining eight fundamental techniques that effectively address customer issues and ensure satisfaction.

Complaints are Gifts

Complaints are not always bad for your business, they can be strategic tools to improve the quality of your services. According to Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller, true success comes when businesses view customer complaints as gifts. Complaints generate consumer feedback, help you to identify market trends and support in developing better quality services. Complaints provide an opportunity to solve clients’ problems, which in turn, creates customer loyalty. Thus, welcoming, inviting and being grateful for complaints is essential for a business to progress and build long-lasting relationships with customers.

8 Steps to Handle Complaints Effectively

Complaints are inevitability in business, but how you handle them can make all the difference. “The Gift Formula” outlines eight fundamental techniques that help manage complaints and defuse any tension. Start with “thank you” to set the tone for the conversation, followed by an explanation of why your appreciation matters. Apologize after providing context to show that you understand the situation, and then follow it up with a promise of immediate action. Ensure you have all the necessary information, and then quickly correct the mistake. Finally, follow up with customers to make sure they are satisfied while using the complaint as an opportunity to prevent future mistakes. By following these steps, you can strengthen customer relationships and enhance customer retention.

Responding to Customer Complaints

Written complaints from customers should be taken seriously as they are red flags that may determine the retention or loss of their business. Responding to written complaints immediately shows customers that you appreciate their effort and are committed to serving them better. In responding to these complaints, it is important to follow seven steps, which include thanking, explaining, and apologizing. Additionally, it is crucial to admit when the customer is correct, make the response personal, be simple and precise, and go beyond their expectations. Following up with the customer and making your organization complaint friendly is also important to continually improve. By avoiding complaint policies that deter complaints and rewarding employees who satisfy complaints, you can create an open communication channel between front-line personnel and managers that can lead to better service quality.

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