Why you should welcome customer complaints

Let’s look at four good reasons for welcoming complaints.


It takes time and effort for our customers to complain. Our customers could easily walk away from our businesses. And, according to the statistics, 52% of the people that are unhappy with your services won’t tell you about it. You won’t hear about what went wrong or even get the chance to make it right. That customer is lost.


It is usually your most loyal and best customers who take the time to complain. They have a vested interest in you getting it right the next time. So, be grateful to those that bring the problems to your attention. Others who don’t complain don’t expect to do business with you again.


When someone complains, it’s usually not the first time the issue has happened. It is probably not an isolated incident and many others have probably had a similar unpleasant experience. No matter the medium they use to complain;letter, email, in person, phone,social media etc., you need to appreciate their comments as free information about what it’s like to deal with your organisation. Think of complaints as a warning sign that something big may be brewing.


Think of the complaints as opportunities. Those that do take the time and effort to complain are way more likely to do business with you again if you handle the complaint well and fix it rather than those that don’t bother to complain.


According to the NSW Department of Fair Trading, for every single dissatisfied customer whose complaint you handle well 83% of them will become loyal AND they will recommend you to five other customers or clients. 


What the stats are saying  

  • 73% of people will tell you if they are dissatisfied
  • 48% of the most serious problems are sales and delivery related 
  • 52% of those who don’t complain believed it wouldn’t help to contact you
  • 66% of those who complain are not satisfied with the way their complaint was handled 
  • 90% of those who are dissatisfied will not purchase from you again 
  • Each dissatisfiedcustomeris likely to tell 9 others of their bad experience.  

You can continue to keep your customers and maintain business, when you have an effective complaint handling policy and trained staff who handle complaints well.  

(NSW Department of Fair-Trading Sept 2014)  

Related Training: Dealing with Difficult Customer Behaviours and Complaints  

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Enhance your professional development skills with live online courses at Odyssey Training. Our full-day online professional development courses are recorded live, which means that you can interact with our trainer or facilitator throughout the day.

When you encounter difficult customer behaviours, it is easy to take it personally, and a natural reaction for many is to respond aggressively, while others withdraw passively. Dealing with Difficult Customers Behaviors course will help you deal with difficult customer service conversations and increase your chance of winning back unhappy customers by providing you with the skills to listen and act on the best decision, stay positive, and communicate effectively under pressure.