Before your customers decide to walk away, never to return and not tell you the reason why, think how you want your customer service experience to look feel. You can do this by putting yourself in your customers shoes, so to speak.

Every business has problems, whether its their customer service, products or services. The great thing about the customer who is willing to take the time to complain is, you have an early warning that something needs to be fixed before more customers are impacted.

Surely we all want to know when our customers are not happy, in order to resolve the problem, and hopefully retain their custom? I see this as a gift, and we should take that gift say a big Thank You to the customer and listen to that customer first and foremost.

The customers who walk away without complaining are our biggest threat, they will share the why, the how, the when and every little detail about their bad experience and your brand and reputation will be in jeopardy.

Evidently at least 47% of customers prefer to walk away and not complain to the business concerned. How many dollars, and for some businesses it could be billions, is lost because lack of customer retention? 

Offering free meals, hotel stays, freebies in general does not go down well with at least 55% of customers, they feel this is insulting and not the solution they are looking for. They have taken the time to share the gift of a complaint and all they get in return is a passive, let’s brush this perceived problem under the carpet, and we can all walk away happy. Not so, it has been proven time and time again.

Let’s take a look at some common or garden reasons why customers are dissatisfied:


  • Poor or lack of customer service.
  • Pressure to buy from a pushy sales person.
  • Lack of information regarding products or services.
  • Overbooking – flights or hotels
  • Poor food
  • Disinterested or rude employees
  • Unfair fees or charges
  • ¬†Lack of loyalty programs for long standing customers as well as new customers

The above list is just a few of the many reasons why customers decide to complain, or not.

Remember when a customer approaches you and they take the time to share a complaint, it is their time, and they are not being paid for their time, whereas you are being paid for yours. They may feel concerned, stressed or nervous about approaching you with their complaint, so think about their feeling first and foremost over yours.

Customers like to know they are important to you, and listening with intent, before jumping in and saying ‘you know how they feel’ or ‘it’s never happened before’, is one of the most important aspects of customer service.

Please take the gift of a complaint to heart and think of this as compliment to your excellent customer service and the fact they trust you enough to share with you. You may have the added gift of a loyal customer.

Please feel free to share your experiences, thoughts, observations on this topic by commenting. I am always happy to learn more and discover how others deal with different situations.