Very few small businesses have any idea how much an unresolved complaint costs them.

I recently spent some time with one of my coaching clients who owns and manages an auto service repair and parts store. The manager brought this particular subject to my attention. He explained that whenever a customer has a problem with the service they receive or is unhappy, he asks them what they feel needs to be done to correct it. He said most customers are shocked to hear his response. He then tells the customer that he is serious and will do what ever it takes to please them.

The manager is right on. Why are his customers so surprised and why is he willing to do what ever it takes to please them. Most small businesses think short term and will fight with a customer just to defend their point or position. Small businesses are so concerned about the cash right now and don’t realize that it might have a long term effect on future business. Most customers don’t want to get in an argument with a business and will just never come back.  By giving a part or service away, the business still comes out ahead. It doesn’t really matter if the customer is dead wrong.  Even if the manager has to charge off a $100 dollars of parts for the customer it’s still a lot less than loosing thousands of dollars that their future business would bring in. Most of his customers bring two or three of their family cars to be serviced and that adds up throughout the year and during the life of the vehicles.

How much money do you spend on servicing and maintaining your vehicles each year? What do you think that $100 dollar resolved complaint is worth to that small business in two or three years. What is the value of that customer, especially if you add two or more additional vehicles? What is the lifetime value of that customer? What is the value of referrals worth to the business? Every business needs to evaluate these questions.

Just think, even if the customer is dead wrong, by apologizing and offering to adjust the price, the manager develops a trusting relationship with the customer to secure their business for future opportunities and purchases. I am sure the customer appreciates the manager’s concern and will tell others about their satisfying experience.

What does an unresolved complaint cost you or your small business? How much revenue can you add to your business over the next few years? It is important to understand how much an unresolved complaint costs you.

Please share with everyone in your business.

  • For every customer who bothers to complain, there are many who remain silent.
  • The average unhappy customer will tell 8 to 16 people.
  • Over 90% of unhappy customers will never purchase goods or services from you again.
  • If you make an effort to please an unhappy customer complaint, 82 to 95 percent will stay with you.
  • It costs about 5 times as much to attract a new customer as it costs to keep an existing one.
The key to profitable repeat business and unsolicited referrals is to create genuine word-of-mouth, and word of mouse about the company, the products and services, and especially the people. – See more at:

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The key to profitable

During my presentations, training and coaching programs, I share that the key to profitability is taking care of our customers, repeat business, unsolicited referrals, word of mouth and word of mouse about your business, products, services and your caring people. Showing my clients exactly how to do those things and more is what I am so passionate about.  It is truly rewarding to watching their business become more successful and Magical!