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A Complaint Is a Gift: Recovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong Kindle Edition
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I read the first edition of this book back in the day and I loved it then. I'm rereading it now, because the value has stuck with me all this time and I want to make sure it's all fresh in my mind as I go to work with a new customer service team. After reading this book, you'll approach every customer interaction from a new perspective which makes compassion and empathy natural and easy, even if the customer is yelling at you.
Here's how I used the book at my previous company where I was responsible for about 80 customer service reps at a software company: we were about to host our first user's conference, and I was worried that our customers would use the opportunity to complain to each other instead of to us, so we created a "Complaint is a Gift Booth" in the hallway of the conference. We encouraged every attendee to visit the booth and register a complaint about ANYTHING at all (our software, our service, the conference, the hotel, even the weather!) and in return, they would receive an actual gift (we had three different little gifts made up, and customers could come back as often as they wanted). The employees we had staffing the booth (and eventually everyone in the company) were trained in the book's methodology, so when receiving each complaint, the first thing they did was thank the customer and be genuinely appreciative of the gift they were receiving. Then we went through an intake process that got all the details, no stone left unturned, then meticulously tracked and followed up on each and every complaint. The conference was a huge success, and I believe the Complaint is a Gift Booth made all the difference in both setting the tone for excellent customer service, and in shifting our entire company culture to view customer complaints differently. It became a permanent feature of each user conference and of our day-to-day customer service.
You will be able to classify customers depending their character and reaction. One of the most valuables chapters in this book is the one where the authors describe the different levels that a customer pass thru his desguise. So you will be able to act as soon as you recognize the customer will take off your control. Great knowledge!
This is a very dynamic, funny book that will have you wake up all the time. Usefull for managers or front liners.
For me, this book have been a truly gift!
Now for the reality - this book is 200 pages of advertising for the authors' consulting firm - every correct example comes from their files.
Indeed there are only correct examples - there is never a case when someome screwed up and died - every case comes out too nice - life is not like that.
The title is misleading - it is a book of tactics, there is not a strategic thread in any chapter.
Get a copy, it has some good ideas, but try not to pay for it, they do not deserve the cash and the opportunity to push their firm at your expense.
The tools for handling complaints and poor service are fantastic.
I only wish that these complaint handling tools were incorporated with general good customer service education.
Great book nonetheless and a new mental model if you take it seriously.