Today I have nothing to complain about. The idea for this post came from a remark I heard on the radio. The complaint doesn’t matter, the attitude of the person and company who received the “complaint” does. On the radio the person who replied to the complaint thanked the “complainer” because his complaint notified him of a problem and resulted in a change. A change that improved the service this company provided; I believe it was a restaurant although that is insignificant.
This provoked my squeaky wheels that turn in my head. What a fabulous concept for business ~ Imagine if they had a sign on the wall that said “THANKS FOR COMPLAINING” or “WE WELCOME YOUR COMPLAINTS” .
What do business want? They want your business of course, and they want you to be a loyal customer. What makes a loyal customer?
Price? – Nope. You may buy because of price but does it inspire loyalty? As soon as someone else beats the price, you have lost that customer.
Service. Service. Service. You will drive a mile out of your way, pay more, and stand in line with a smile if you get good service and feel appreciated and recognized for spending your money anywhere.
I went for lunch today in a new restaurant today in Penticton. The owner is friendly, he is establishing his place in the stomachs of the locals for certain. He is friendly, and his little shop is a jewel. He also has a young lady helping him, and she hands out pita bread, halva, water etc and he apparently has given her full reign to treat his customers, and even visitors to his little restaurant generously, graciously and welcoming. How can he not be successful with service like that? The food was delicious too, yummy and spicy. mmmm.
On the other hand, about nine months ago I walked out of my way on my break to visit a new bakery/coffee shop that had handed out coupons for free coffee so that locals would venture out and check out his operation. I doubt he will succeed. Sadly he had gone out of his way to offer this invitation but then the experience in his shop he was not gracious. He actually questioned the size of my pal’s coffee cup over the possibility of granting a few ounces of extra coffee. If there was any chance of selling strudel, it was gone! My buddy and I have not returned.
What lesson have we learned?
#1 – If you have a business, you can win someone over as a loyal customer with these words “Thank you for complaining” followed by I want to make you happy.
#2 – Don’t be pennywise with your regular customers or new customers, the best advertising is a happy regular, and then you just save your advertising budget completely. Business are based on happy individuals, one at a time.