Digital MarketingEmail MarketingComplain Like Hell Again!

Complain Like Hell Again!

Two companies...two radically different approaches to dealing with customer complaints. Which one do you want to do business with?

Last summer, I wrote an article titled Complain like Hell and Win A Prize! It extolled the virtues of encouraging all feedback from your visitors. Yep even negative feedback.

Why encourage negative feedback? Because, from time to time, you’ll screw up, and one or more customers will become upset.

There are two things that can happen with an upset customer.

One: They’ll leave you and never return. And on the way out they’ll tell everyone else what a bad experience they had with you.

Two: They’ll complain like hell and you’ll have the opportunity to make things right and keep that customer.

But it’s not in most people’s nature to complain like hell. So to achieve option two, you have to be proactive and nearly beg them to complain. One way or another.

This last week, I came across two different approaches to handling customer complaints, taken by two very different web sites.

The first example concerns SimpleGiftsFarm and its owner, Doug Green. Doug had read my original Complain like Hell article and took the very brave decision to give it a try.

He invited his visitors to enter his ‘Complaint Contest’ for the chance to win a gardening book, written by Doug. Here, in his own words, is what happened.

“Ten minutes after the newsletter was sent out, the letters started coming in.

“The contest has helped me to focus on what I do best and what I do worst. I’ll be deleting the worst (subbing in some links to compensate) and focussing on the best stuff in the redesign. So much for static information — here’s looking at big-time increased interactivity. I have asked for feedback before on the site — to rousing silence and a few attaboys.

“It was only when I tied a contest to it and used the word ‘complaint’ that people started to focus on the improvements I needed to make. All apologized for doing so in the first sentence or two and then went on to say, ‘Since you asked for it.’ WHAM. It’s now the first *annual* complaint contest.”

Doug’s favorite reply to the contest? “The nicest one was from the Sister at a convent who told me not to worry about my imperfections. I was obviously a good gardener, and the rest just made it easier to get to know me.”

So who are you going to invest your next big chunk of cash with — eBay or Doug Green?

As far as I know, Doug is the only person who has created a ‘Complain Like Hell’ contest. If you know of any others, I’d love to hear about them. And if you don’t have the resources to create your own contest, you can visit us at forkinthehead.com and sign up for a personalized ‘Got a Complaint? – Send us a fork in the head’ button to stick on your home page.

Whatever the approach you take, there’s gold to be had from actively encouraging complaints from your visitors and customers.

Related Articles

What does the future hold for email? We asked our readers

Email What does the future hold for email? We asked our readers

2m Rebecca Sentance
Round-up: The Future of Email

Email Round-up: The Future of Email

2m Rebecca Sentance
How these 11 brands are nailing cart abandonment emails

Email How these 11 brands are nailing cart abandonment emails

2m Tereza Litsa
How fashion brand Thread is delivering hyper-personalized emails at scale

AI How fashion brand Thread is delivering hyper-personalized emails at scale

2m Chris Camps
How rich media can bring your emails to life

Email How rich media can bring your emails to life

2m Clark Boyd
Inbox innovation: The tools and technology powering the future of email

Advanced Email Marketing Inbox innovation: The tools and technology powering the future of email

2m Chris Camps
4 ways to make sure your email technology is mobile optimized

Email 4 ways to make sure your email technology is mobile optimized

2m Rebecca Sentance
Do brands still need bulk email software?

Email Do brands still need bulk email software?

2m Al Roberts