Why You Should Be Asking For Complaints
Remember when Domino’s took all the bad things people were saying about their pizza and turned it into an advertising campaign? They knew there was a large portion of the pizza-eating population fairly unsatisfied with the quality of their pizzas. They knew that bad word of mouth was spreading, and if they didn't do something about it, their once-reigning pizza empire would fade into the background.
They asked people what they hated about their pizza, published those statements publicly, and started holding themselves to a much higher standard. Instead of holding onto bad impressions formed in the past, we loved them for their transparency and their effort. Suddenly, we were all ordering from Domino's again.
Domino’s could have taken their customer feedback and done nothing about it. They could have kept serving their “cardboard pizza” and continued losing customers. Instead, they acknowledged the criticism of their customers as valuable feedback and an opportunity to grow. They ended up changing their pizza recipes completely, updating the crust, sauce, and cheeses. As a result, the company has continued to grow year after year, coming out of a steep decline. They are now one of the largest pizza chains in the world.
So, what can your business learn from the example Domino's set?
First, it's important to establish a process for collecting genuine feedback from your customers. Hearing the positive comments will let you know what your strengths are and how you can build a reputation around it, and hearing the negative comments will give you an opportunity to address concerns and work on your weaknesses. Wouldn't you rather know and be able to fix it? It also gives you a chance to win back your customer's trust after an unfortunate experience. If you notice patterns in the negative feedback, pay extra attention to those and plug the hole in the boat as quickly as possible. Finally, view every criticism or suggestion as free market research. You don't have to listen to every single complaint (Karens are out there), but you'd be foolish not to perk up when you see a pattern emerging. Complaints are opportunities to build customer loyalty by showing them you care after the fact.