An unhappy client

It happens occasionally. A really unhappy client. What do we do?

Here are the worst bits of what he wrote -

"The level of competency in your office is beyond ridiculous, seriously.

The entire address capturing assignment was much worse than a visit to the dentist for all round teeth crowning.

The service levels are truly pathetic."

Taking this against the backdrop of compliments that get showered on us and my staff, it would be very tempting to pass it off as someone who is over-reacting to the fact that we are all human and we all make mistakes. But a client of mine once said "Derek, we learn most from the people who complain" and he was right.

So, first, get the facts.

When we applied to change his company's address at CIPC we made not one, but a number of errors. So he had reason to criticise on that score.

Then when we went about fixing it, we made more errors. Wow! Now he really does have cause for criticism.

Why were the mistakes made?

1) Pressure of work at the time.

2) The person concerned does not touch type, so is not watching the screen while typing.

3) She did not read through the result before sending it.

What can we do about it?

1) Check whether the staff member is continually under pressure and if so relieve the pressure.

2) Switching from a keyboard watcher to a screen watcher is really difficult because it slows you down. (I'm working on this myself right now, so I know how frustrating it can be when you're in a hurry. You soon get to know where the backspace key is!)

3) Have chat with her and encourage her to read before sending.

So, Koos, thank you for helping us along the road.

One last thing. If the client is complaining about your payment terms, shrug your shoulders and smile!


South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. Designation CA(SA)  Internationally Accredited Financial MediatorsIndependent Regulatory Board for Auditors. Designation RA<Engineering Council of South Africa. Designation Pr(Eng) Member of MENSA, the High IQ Society




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