It is said that in this country we do not complain enough about poor service or poor products and perhaps that is right. But if we are going to complain more, then for goodness sake some people need to learn about “how” to complain and about the effect your complaint could have on the individual you are complaining too!
I had a guy in last week complaining that he had bought 6 oysters and they were all green and off and they wouldn’t be coming back to our shop again. Now for a small retailer such as myself that is the worst thing you can hear. We work incredibly hard to find the best products and to look after it in a way that ensures that they reach the customer in the best condition. So to have someone so unhappy that they wont come back is very serious.
I tried to speak with him and ask him about the problems but he wasn’t in the mood to listen or even accept my apologies or offer of recompense and he just walked out without giving me the opportunity to address the situation.
I felt totally deflated and powerless and it ruined the rest of my day and evening as it preyed on my mind. Why did it do this to me? Well that is simple, it’s because I care about what we do and how we are perceived by the customer. Our reputation is hard won and yet is one that could be easily destroyed.
I dont know what happened with the oysters, in all truth they were probably perfect when they left the shop but without the opportunity to discuss it we dont know. I do know that if we do mess up (and it does happen as no one is completely infallable) we are always prepared to address the problem and sort it out.