Making Lemons from Lemonade

Expectations are great…until they are not met. We all have certain expectations and when they aren’t met, we can’t help but feel let down —we hoped things might turn out one way, but they fell short.

What happens when we disappoint the people for whom we work? Is getting a complaint from our boss or client really as bad as it seems?

The answer is, surprisingly, both yes and no.

Disappointments may arise from a miscommunication between two parties, where one party has higher or different expectations than the other party understands, or else may be unable to meet. If the expectations aren’t set out clearly from the outset, there is potential for a gap to occur between what was expected and what was delivered. We never want our clients or our bosses to be disappointed in the work we do for them—so yes, disappointing them is a bad thing.

However, the result isn’t always necessarily a tragedy. The result, hopefully, is some sort of complaint—and complaints aren’t necessarily bad.

A complaint from a customer is first and foremost an outlet for him or her to express concern that there was some sort of service gap. With today’s levels of stress, tension, and pressure to get everything done in a shorter time and with fewer resources, any deficiency may cause major problems. It’s no wonder clients and bosses get upset when expectations aren’t met…it’s happened to me and I’ll bet it’s happened to you, too.

However, most important, clients and bosses are expecting some action on your part. They want your help to solve the problem. BINGO! Here’s where you can be the hero. 

If a dissatisfied customer is going to take their business elsewhere, they’ll more than likely just do it quietly. If the unhappy client takes the time to call and complain about his or her issue, he or she isn’t necessarily looking to leave—he or she is looking for a solution, and looking to you to supply it. It’s a chance for you to shine and show what you are really made of!

Damage control is easy, as long as you LISTEN to what your client or boss wants and don’t make excuses and dismiss the problem. You actually have to apologize for the issue and go above and beyond the necessary measures to both rectify the situation and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. The latter is why complaints aren’t bad—they force you to step up your game and make improvements that all of your clients may benefit from in the future.

One should look at complaints as a golden opportunity to show how YOU are different. Studies show that clients are more loyal to businesses that handle complaints well than to those companies that never make a mistake in the first place! Counterintuitive, yes, but true. Use complaints to your advantage to show your clients and boss what you are really made of!

About the author

I am a third generation printer, and a second generation owner of Curry Printing. Ink (pms 185!) must run through my veins! As a "working owner," I am at Curry every day, working in and on my business. The old adage is true...if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: