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"Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." –  Quote by Late Walt Disney, American Entertainment Moghul

Ajay Lamba and his wife had always been fond of cooking and baking. So when he lost his job in a big PR firm in Delhi due to the economic recession, they saw it as a god-sent opportunity to indulge in their passion and make a buck. They launched a home bake service with a limited menu and were soon publicizing themselves. The orders trickled in through well-wishers but were not increasing nor were there any repeat orders. This left them puzzled. So they rang up their old customers for feedback and were stunned to hear what was said.  Comments ranged from "pricing too much", "The cake was dry", "the ingredients, not best quality" poured in. The Lambas heard and acted. They made some cakes and sent them out as peace offerings to their upset customers and also decided to lower their prices to keep pace with others in the market. These angry customers gave them a chance to turn around their business model for the better. Soon their orders showed an upwards trajectory, the Lamba baking service gained momentum and they laughed all the way to the bank.

The moral of the story – listen to your customers and most importantly customer complaints are good for any business. According to research by Esteban Kolsky, 13% of customers will talk about their experiences with around 15 other people or maybe more. 1 in 25 customers will give you feedback and complaints. The others remain silent and not patronize your product or service. The way to retain customers and even make them loyal brand ambassadors is to value each customer and their grievances. Quick action on the part of a business as the Lamba couple did is the trick to save a business.

4 ways to handle customer complaints

  • Take time to listen and understand customer issues and complaints. Its the first step and the most important.

  • If customers are upset or angry, apologize in various ways."I am sorry" are powerful words.

  • Find solutions to customer feedback and complaints. It could be a refund, a gift voucher, a replacement, and so on

  • After providing a solution, follow up with the aggrieved customer and see if they are ok. This is important to retain good customers. Make sure that feedback is elicited.

A survey by The Nottingham School of Economics found that upset customers are more likely to be mollified by a business if they receive an apology. It's human nature; to forgive and forget.

Never give the impression to your customer base that you are so big that you don't care about individual businesses. It's the worst thing you can do. The customer is king and we all know that. Work mighty hard to retain them and see your business touch new heights. Here is to customer complaints and you. Cheers.

About the Author

RS Maan

Maan joined Salesforce Ecosystem in 2008 with entry of Salesforce in APAC region. He worked on many of the underlying Salesforce Products & it’s functionality, including Heroku, Chatbots, and Einstein before leading Codleo Consulting - Leading Partner of & In his spare time, he immerses himself in travel, books and spirituality.

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