Sometimes I find myself wondering how to respond to customer complaints. Dealing with the individual customer is easy. We fix their problem, generally by replacing the item.
Dealing with the root cause of the problem is less easy but much more important. If we fail to tackle the underlying cause, then we invite the next customer to experience the same problem and make the same complaint. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the problem will keep occurring until we change something.
Let me illustrate with an example.
We have a recurring problem with our room mist. Where the mist spray either doesn’t spray or stops spraying. It frustrates and annoys our customers. They complain, and we replace their product. This problem has been going on for four or five years, and the root cause is the manual closing machine we use to seal the top of the atomiser spray. It doesn’t work consistently.
The solution is for us to buy a closing machine powered by compressed air. Unfortunately, these machines are expensive, and so we have tolerated the cost of replacing the faulty bottles for customers.
I recently started keeping track of every customer complaint to understand how much they cost us. You know what! We could have bought one of these “expensive” machines in less than three months with the money we have been spending on replacing faulty room mists when I factored in all the cost of replacing the item for the customer including shipping costs, staff time and so on.
It was a harsh reminder of the lesson, “What we tolerate will not change”
As soon as I stopped “tolerating” the unnecessary cost of replacing faulty room mist bottles. I became aware that I must buy the new closing machine. So, we have one on order. Sadly, it will take 6 weeks to arrive, but all being well you will see the improvement by early April.
Are you tolerating things in your life that you know need to be different? Nothing is going to change until you stop accepting the current situation.
It won’t be easy. Change often involves pain and cost. But making changes that you know are right is empowering. You will see and feel the benefit immediately. Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.