The Complaint Race Strategy
by Sue Aquila
One thing I love (and hate) is when my business receives complaints. Why do I love a complaint? It shows someone cares and they want to give us a chance to retain them as a customer. Sometimes they just want to help us make our business better. Conversely, I hate complaints because it means we screwed up.
I decided long ago that a complaint was an opportunity to win a customer for life. I have a four step approach for every complaint I receive:
Many small business owners are overwhelmed when they receive a complaint. Few see that a complaint is an opportunity to build your brand and make your business better. Customers want a reason to support your business. Use a complaint as an opportunity to affirm why they are your customer in the first place. Thank them for taking the time to make the business better!
A couple of years ago, I realized that the same thing applies to my racing attitude. My standard racing complaints have included:
One day it hit me... every complaint I feel in a race is an opportunity to beat a competitor. When it gets hard and I start complaining, I now realize that it’s go time. Flipping the switch from being discouraged to having confidence is not an easy task. It takes practice: in training, day in and day out.
Some days are truly awful. I embrace the awful training days now. Too hot? Time to run. Pool water is cold? Jump in and swim (sometimes in my wetsuit). Wind is howling? Let’s ride.
If I start complaining, I know that the workout is an opportunity to jump out of my comfort zone. Every step to the extreme is one more link in my race armor. I know most of my competitors will avoid the thing that most irritates them (and sometimes it is me!).
The next time you start complaining, start racing. It’s go time!
Sue Aquila is a USAT Level 1 coach who balances her ironman training with running a successful business that she built from the ground up. She blogs regularly at fewoman.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @fewoman.