What stops customers complaining to you

If customer complaints are part and parcel of doing business (and, even, are beneficial for you), then you really want to make sure that an unhappy customer will complain directly to you, instead of switching to a competitor or taking to social media to let the world know about their negative consumption experiences.

This presentation summarises the 3 most common barriers stopping an unhappy customer from complaining directly to you.



What else stops you from complaining directly to a firm?

8 thoughts on “What stops customers complaining to you

  1. Insightful post again, Ana. Some reasons that stop me from complaining directly:
    – Unresponsiveness -> I found the channel to contact them, but they don’t reply: missed chance.
    – Repeated disappointment -> despite giving feedback, no visible improvements made: no use to complain.
    – Lame excuses -> when a complaint is seen as a personal attack, and all sorts of silly reasons are mentioned why it’s not their fault. Okay, when I did something wrong (drop a mobile phone in the ocean), it’s my fault. But when it isn’t, a company simply can’t blame others, or tell me I’m the only one to complain, so I must be crazy.


    1. Yes, yes – no benefit in complaining directly to firm. Reminds me of Dave Carroll who went around in circles with United because of the guitar for around 1 year, before making that famous video, United Breaks Guitars.


  2. I have a 4th reason or maybe just a corollary – going directly to you isn’t as fun. They are so upset they want the entire world to know about it, and they don’t care about the fix. So the venting is there, and I’m not sure there is a way to prevent that.

    And maybe a 5th reason – they know you, you know them. And this brings in a personal relationship, that might make them feel uncomfortable about complaining directly. So knowing your customers is great, but make sure they know you well enough to know that it’s OK to be share the BAD stuff too.


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