Customer complaints are second chances
I was in the car this morning and I had a sudden thought of call centres and they bear the brunt of the customer’s wrath (i.e. complaints). While most think of customer complaints as an awful thing, I came to realize that it is the exact opposite!
Your customer is acting as your employee (without being paid) and informing you (sometimes in an angry tone) about flaws in your services standards or product. Isn’t that wonderful? I guess the thought was inspired by my recent need to call cheaptickets.sg’s call centre. It was a pleasant experience.
What inspired this thought
2 weeks ago, I needed to call cheaptickets.sg call centre.
What happened was that I booked a flight (Tiger Air) on behalf of someone else to Manila through cheaptickets.sg. At the airport at 9pm, Tiger Air required credit card verification. Because the flight was booked through cheaptickets.sg (i.e. my credit card was used to pay cheaptickets, and they used their credit card to pay Tiger), there was no way I could produce cheapticket’s credit card and that their call centre was already closed. Oh no….
As a result, I had to pay cash (same amount as the original booking), and Tiger refunding the amount to cheaptickets and cheaptickets refunding the amount to my credit card. It is still on going and I am guessing the whole process may take about 1 month.
So back to the cheaptickets call centre, I was very fortunate to be served by a young Indian man (Their call centre is not in Singapore) who was extremely helpful. My previous experience calling the call centre was not so pleasant. The operator was less polite and impatient.
Moral of the story
Companies should take note: the fact that your customer bothers to call you to complain is a good sign. He or she is giving you a second chance to make amendments. Your customer (who is not employed by you, but instead paid to use your product or service) is now informing you of flaws in your business process, or service standards! They could have not bothered and told all their friends about their poor experience. And you’ll be wondering why your revenue is falling. Value your customer complaints!