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The Complainers

The Complainers are one of four categories or types of personalities  that you can plan in advance, in your customer retention action plan.

Passives – They are likely to do nothing, they often think the consequences aren’t worth the time and effort. What are passive customers? Glad you asked In all customer populations there is a small group (between 5-10 percent usually) that you almost don’t know you have. These are the companies (B2B scenarios), or customers (B2C) that bought your product or service, use it all the time, and never require service (or self-support themselves through your self-service initiative). These are the non-squeaky wheels – the ones no one pays attention to. In words of loyalty and satisfaction, these are satisfied, loyal, long-term customers that we have no risk of losing unless we totally screw up — and even then, they are likely to call and get their problem fixed, since they never called before. These are your safe customers.

Read more about this from Esteban

Voicers – They actively complain to anyone who wants to listen, usually not to 3rd parties – the the companies that aren’t delivering what they said they would. Complaining seems to have a social benefit for them, and they believe complaining can be a positive experience. I would call them let you know what is not working. Less likely to spread the negative word of mouth, to switch patronage, or to go to third parties with their complaints. These customers to be viewed as the service providers friend.

Irates – These people will complain about everything and anything. It’s like they have nothing else to do in their life. Will usually switch providers, less likely to give you a second chance like a Voicer will give. They always seem to feel alienated. Much too often constant complainers moan because they known full well that no one in authority is taking any notice of them. They will happily air their grievances.

Activists – These people have an above average propensity to complain on all dimensions. They complain and will tell everyone about everything. Sometimes will take extreme action towards you the provider. This is a customer “Hell.”

When I was working in the restaurant industry, I met some honest complainers and then there were some unjustifiable complainers. The kind that wanted their whole meals comp’d. On the house..I just learned to asked them what they wanted, this always seemed to put everything into perspective. Maybe all of it, wasn’t so bad.

People expect to be treated with respect no matter how outrageous their complaints were, sometimes a simple “I am sorry” is all it takes. Sometimes it takes more than this like money, free services in the future, reduced charges, a gift card or a replacement.

Complaining can actually become addictive, filling a personal need that they don’t even know exists.  If people think of you as a constant complainer or if you generally just feel like the world is a source of aggravation to you.

“Customer is the most important person for a business. He is not an
interruption to our work but the purpose of it. He is not an outsider; he is
a part of it. We are not doing him a favor; he is doing us a favor by
 giving us an opportunity to serve him.”
(By Mahatma Gandhi)

Mari-Lyn Harris

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