Remember the Coca Cola … disaster a few years ago? They tried to switch Coke drinkers to New Coke. It didn’t work. … the company quickly … the problem and had the …

Remember the Coca Cola marketing disaster a few years ago?
They tried to switch Coke drinkers to New Coke. It didn’t
work. Fortunately,COMPLAINING CUSTOMERS ARE GOOD FOR BUSINESS Articles the company quickly recognized the
problem and had the resources to recover fast. Their follow
up research revealed that only 1 unhappy customer in 50
takes time to complain. The other 49 just quietly switch

It’s human nature to avoid unpleasant experiences like
customer complaints. Nobody likes bad news. But uncovering
customer complaints and satisfying them can give you a
powerful competitive advantage.


Dissatisfied customers or clients can do one of 4 things:

1. Remain silent
2. Complain to a legal or public agency
3. Complain to friends and anybody else who will listen
4. Complain to you

Which choice would you like them to make? The best choice
may surprise you.

You certainly don’t want them to complain to a legal or
public agency. And you definitely don’t want them to
complain to their friends and associates. Imagine how much
business that can cost you.

Remaining silent may seem like the best choice. But it’s
not, for 2 reasons. First, because it really won’t happen.
It’s human nature for people to talk about their experiences
— especially experiences involving emotions like those
generated by an unsatisfactory business transaction. The
other reason you don’t want a dissatisfied customer to
remain silent is because it deprives you of the chance to
correct the problem and save your relationship with your

The best choice is to have your unhappy customer complain to


Customers or clients who take the time and trouble to
complain to you are doing you a favor. They’re helping you
grow your business. They’re giving you the opportunity to
resolve their problem and keep them as a customer. They’re
also alerting you to a problem that may be costing you
business from other prospects and customers without your

This applies to every business including independent
distributors for MLM or network marketing companies. If the
problem is in your area of responsibility you can correct
it. If the problem is with your company’s product or system
you can advise them and ask them to correct it. You can also
reduce the impact of a company problem on your operation by
telling your distributors about it and letting them know the
company is taking corrective action.


The Coca Cola Company discovered their New Coke marketing
disaster quickly because they print a toll-free consumer
information telephone number on all their product packages.
The sudden deluge of complaint calls alerted them
immediately to the extent of the problem and enabled them to
respond fast to minimize the damage. I wonder how long it
would have taken them to discover the problem if they didn’t
provide that telephone number and encourage complaints?

A toll-free consumer information line is one way to
encourage customer complaints and feedback. Here are 3
others especially suited to small businesses on a limited

* Develop a customer satisfaction and comments form. Include
it with products you ship or with correspondence to
customers and clients if you don’t ship products.

* Send a follow up postcard to customers a week or 10 days
after completing a transaction and ask if everything is
OK. You can do this by email or telephone if it’s

* Create a separate page at your website for customer
comments and complaints. Publicize the address on your
home page and on all communications with your customers.

Your customers and clients know your strengths and
weaknesses better than you. Get them to identify your
weaknesses and tell you what they are so you can correct
them. It may be uncomfortable or ego deflating to hear about
your weaknesses. But you’ll soon forget that when you take
corrective action and see the positive impact it has on your
bottom line.

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