The last thing any businessperson wants to hear is a complaint. And yet a complaint could help your business improve.

First, thank the client for mustering up the courage to voice the dissatisfaction to you where there is a chance of fixing the problem. He could have broadcast it to others.

Second, look at how the complaint can help you.

1. It may point to a gap between what you promise and what you offer. A product that is enclosed in an attractive outer package that is four times larger than the actual contents, for example, may indeed disappoint the recipient. This is an opportunity to bring the promise and product in alignment. Scale down the packaging to more accurately reflect the size of the inner contents.

2. It can confirm that your marketing is on track. One of my relatives complained that my postcard mailers were directed at corporate clients, not the general consumer. That was exactly right. The corporate market was my target for those postcards.

3. A complaint may also indicate out-dated or ineffective merchandise. If your website shows products that are no longer available, it’s time for updates and revisions. A customer could well complain about a delivered product  that bears no resemblance to the pictured design.

4. More than a few complaints about the same item or service indicates there is a definite problem, but it may not be yours. Decide if you want to fix the problem, or if you would rather lose the clients that will be alienated by it. For example, if you get complaints that your products are too expensive, don’t start lowering your prices just yet.

Examine your pricing formula to decide if you think it’s fair. If you have enough clients who are satisfied with your prices and you have confidence in the quality of your product or service, then it doesn’t matter that some think you’re too high. The complaining ones are just not your target clients. I doubt that Lamborghini will lower their prices to suit my budget. I’m not their target client.

For more tips to make your business life easier, sign up for your free Colorful Thought of the Week Then listen to interviews with guests on my weekly radio show on Mondays at 11AM PST at BlogTalkRadio.com/florabrown who will share many ways to business success and personal happiness.

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