Customer complaints are your best marketing tool

January 27, 2009

The Christmas season is finally over. I am not sure about the rest of you, but I could use the break from the “public relations” side of my company. We have one website that sells directly to the general public. Although most of our business is geared towards selling business to business, that one site generates 90 percent of our customer contact  in print and e-traffic. Since I am the one with “marketing director” after my name, I get to take care of it all. I enjoy it most of the time. Some years ago I discovered that the customer complaints area, although the least pleasant, is the most important. The letters and e-mails with complaints are the ones you really want to set to the side until you feel like you can deal with them with a clear head and pleasant tone. A bad attitude and an angry tone is exactly the mind set you don't want. If you follow through with it, that attitude will destroy your company's reputation and limit your customer base. The only way to deal with these letters is to pay immediate attention to them. Just like you cannot put off responding to complaints, you cannot be evasive in your answers. You have to say what your are going to do and do what you said. You may not satisfy everyone, but at least you will be honest and attentive. Both qualities build a small business into market presence. Even after you have e-mailed a customer, it is best to send them something in print: a card, coupon or a letter repeating what your e-mail had said; whatever is appropriate for the situation. Have you had a particularly difficult customer? How did you deal with it?

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About Jerry Brisinger

I am the Marketing Director of a small media development company. We deal with hardware,software, and hard goods. As part owner of that company, I am able to see many of the true inner workings of the decision making process. Over my years in the marketing field I have striven to show simplify people's way of thinking on the subject. Many executives and small business owners try to over complicate the entire idea. They are wrong. In my posts I hope to show you what it is that I mean.

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