What drives cynicism in customers?

10 Jul
2012

On any given day, I receive 30-50 emails from customers. I would bucket them in 3 categories – positive feedback (about things that are right or wrong with crazeal – these emails basically help us improve), enquiries (please tell me how to) and complaints (I had a bad experience on crazeal)

The complaints category is the most fascinating. What stands out is the inherent cynicism. More often than not, a complaint to me is the first instance of the customer reaching out to us. But even in this first touch point, their starting assumption is that no one will hear them. So the emails almost always end up with a – you better solve this else I will report this to the customer court and splash it all over social media.

Why would they react this way? Why would the very first email end up with a threat? When you don’t even know if the company is serious towards solving your problem or not. I can completely understand the threat in the 2nd contact, if the issue remains unresolved or worse still not responded.

My only explanation is the fact that this complaint email is not the first instance, but the second. The first one was the experience itself. And we failed there. It makes our job harder because we rest a lot on the merchant to deliver the right quality. And if the merchant fucks up, we fuck up (and rightfully so).

Here is my humble request – drop the cynicism on the first instance. Give the company a chance. Just one. Maybe the bad experience wasn’t planned. Maybe the company wasn’t there out to dupe you. Maybe, just maybe, they didn’t mean harm at all. It was an honest mistake.

2 Responses to What drives cynicism in customers?

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Amos Peters

July 17th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Wanted to read your perspective on client complaints, but I am not happy with the expletives used and couldn’t get myself to continue. Please take this as a positive feedback. I think you are putting off your audience rather than attracting their attention with the F words splashing all around.

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ankur

July 17th, 2012 at 8:45 pm

The f word is not used to attract attention – else it would be used less. Sorry if you were offended!

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