How a Complaint and a $14 Earpiece Improved My Customer Experience

My business was founded to help companies completely restore customer confidence and regain goodwill after service failures occur. I tell my clients all the time that a complaint is a gift. A complaint is a gift that can help you correct problems, retain customers and improve the customer experience.

A couple of weeks ago I got a complaint from a customer. Being on the receiving end of a complaint was a little strange for me. I found myself having to practice what I preach. It was time for me to listen to my customer without offense, work to resolve the problem and regain my customer’s goodwill.

My customer told me that the audio quality of a webinar she’d just attended was far below her expectations. I was shocked. But I listened and carefully responded using the 7 practices for handling complaints that I’ve taught my clients for more than a decade.  After I felt certain that I’d effectively handled the problem and regained my customer’s goodwill, I tackled the problem.

I played the 60-minute webinar my customer attended back in its entirety. Sure enough, there were times when my voice would drop for a few seconds at a time. I immediately knew what was wrong. I had broadcasted that webinar from my iMac. I usually deliver webinars over a Dell. My Mac was directly in front of me and my speakerphone was right in front of the Mac. Every few minutes I’d glance over at my Dell, which was showing the live webinar, to ensure everything was running smoothly. Every time I looked away from my iMac, my voice would drop because I wasn’t facing the speakerphone. It didn’t occur to me that these glances were affecting my vocal quality.

My customer gave me feedback on a problem that actually affected hundreds of people the day of the live web event. She was the only customer who took the time out of her day to give me feedback. This was critical feedback. I immediately went out and bought an earpiece to connect to my phone. Now I can talk and move about without risking good voice quality. My customer’s feedback led to me making a $14 investment in an earpiece and that little investment dramatically improved my customer experience for web events.

A complaint truly is a gift. When customers give you a complaint, see this as an opportunity to correct the problem, regain customer goodwill and possibly even improve the customer experience for your customers at large.

For help with seeing complaints as gifts, see past blog posts such as:

The Corporate Apology: How to Apologize In 5 Easy Steps

Looking for complaint letter response guidelines

Sorry Works! The Bottom-line Benefit of Apologizing to Customers

Helpful Phrases For Dealing with Difficult Customers