REVIEW: Janelle Barlow — A Complaint is a Gift (BOOK)
Complaints and feedback are what this book is all about, Janelle Barlow effective states. It shows. With the release of A Complaint is a Gift: How to Learn from Critical Feedback and Recover Customer Loyalty, Barlow makes the brilliant case for how utilizing the silver linings of short-term mishaps can lead to long-term gains when it comes to a successful, lived, and prosperous career in corporate industry. “Customers will always find reasons to be dissatisfied. It’s the nature of business — and life,” she writes. “If customers leave angry or disappointed without saying anything, you’ve missed the pathway to fixing something that doesn’t work, that satisfies them, and that keeps them with you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: https://www.janellebarlow.com/
Lost customers hurt your bottom line, your morale, and your reputation. Lost customers help your competitors…What constitutes a bad complaint-handling experience in business? Sometimes it’s as simple as poor follow-up. Lack of follow-up affects trust, and trust affects customer loyalty. In 2021, the fascinating Edelman Trust Barometer stated that business is the most trusted global institution. This ranking creates a responsibility: the consuming public expects businesses to lead with trust. For example, food and beverage businesses, a vast and varied sector, show gaps in trust that can be ‘repaired,’ according to Edelman, by doing some of the steps you will see recommended in this book.”
She continues: “What are the intangibles of honesty and trust in business? For customers, they include the organization admitting its mistakes and accepting the consequences. Owning up to mistakes isn’t a big deal; after all, customers accept that firms make errors. Many of them are in business themselves, and they know about making mistakes. When complaints are discussed honestly, businesses create trust and reinforce already strong brands. Customers want to hear, ‘That was our fault. We are sorry.’ Trust can exist and grow on the foundation of this discourse. When a business accepts responsibility for its mistakes, it breeds trustworthiness. In today’s economy, a company achieves most of its value in intangibles, trust being a significant one. Marketing specialists keep driving this point.
When customers stop believing a brand will do what it promises, loyalty drops.” By utilizing terms like ‘trust’ and ‘loyalty’, Barlow is able to marinate the narrative with appropriate dramatic and evocative terminology. In doing this, she both effectively sets out with what she intends to do — communicate potentially vague concepts exclusive to a certain ideological echelon for a wide audience, while making the communicatory process entertaining and compelling narratively as a result. “Mindsets influence how both employees and consumers behave. The mindset we will focus on in this book is that complaints are fundamentally gifts.
Well-handled complaints are a mechanism that can help organizations build agility (responding quickly to problems that need to be fixed), trust (acknowledging when a mistake has been made), and empathy (showing care for their customers),” she states. “…Customer complaints provide one of the primary and most direct means to communicate with customers outside of sales. After all, how many consumers pick up the phone to chat with you if they have no problems? Customers practically have to be bribed to fill out survey forms.
But when a problem occurs, chances are slightly better that they will talk directly with you. That’s when people in organizations need the right mindset to effectively react as if they have received a gift.”