To Complain or not Complain

Which herd are you in?

Complaining effectively and not just for complaining’s sake all started here for me. Then some months ago, whilst successfully task avoiding and hunting through threads on LinkedIn, I came across Steve Clarke’s thread.  He challenged people not to complain for 7 days.

You can see where he is coming from. Not focussing on rubbish instead of the job in hand, positive thinking and all that. Of course there were the sheep who followed Steve and did all that “cow” towing about how it completely changed their lives! But being the argumentative soul that I am, I waded in with the fact that sometimes complaining is necessary. You gain redress, bring about change and can bring in funds!

John Towers posted this: “Would it be valid to draw a distinction between moaning and complaining? I would suggest that a complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction which the person voicing it would expect to result in some sort of positive remedial action (probably by somebody else!), whereas a moan is a negative and apathetic response by someone who is not prepared to take responsibility for a situation”

Now that is probably a more eloquent way of explaining the difference between moaning and complaining than mine in the “About” page! We also agreed that where services for vulnerable people are concerned complaining is not only good it is essential! We work in businesses where we have to be ready to make and deal objectively and fairly with complaints, not least because it is stipulated in relevant regulations. That in turn makes improvements in services, why wouldn’t you want to have that approach and make a difference in any other kind of service?

Steve did concede though that “Yes there’s an art to effective complaining – where you see a positive outcome”. Hey I’m an artist! He also wrote how he didn’t complain when an organisation contacted him while he was on holiday when it was clearly at fault. Steve was satisfied with not complaining and just confusing them. Me, I would complain and gain redress from them for inconveniencing me with their errors!

Steve and I were possibly arguing semantics at times, but in essence you are looking at not complaining and just getting on with the task in hand or complaining effectively and getting a positive result. To be fair they probably both have their place, but I’m a Change Manager, I want to affect change, have fun and if I make a bit of money for others and myself where applicable all the better. I had to stop arguing with Steve on Facebook and LinkedIn when I found out that he was using my posts in a seminar as how he got someone using one social network to engage on another. Someone called me a stalker because of the length of my post! NO! It was a long post because I used lots of evidence to back up my argument! Interestingly Steve did not engage in the debate. Perhaps more sensible than engaging in debate with me maybe…?!

I disagreed with Steve’s “Good enough is good enough” stance arguing that “Good enough is not good enough” (Steve Jobs’ legacy!)   I also disagreed with him when he said that an email sent with grammatical errors didn’t matter. So I do hope that this Blog is good enough and there aren’t any errors!!!

The 7 Day Challenge thread was probably one of the main inspirations for writing a Blog! (Cheers Steve!) Firstly there was no way I was rising to the challenge! Secondly, because I’ll use any tool available to me to prove my point, I decided to use a Blog!

Do share – which herd are you in?

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8 Responses to To Complain or not Complain

  1. Martin Johnson says:

    I feel it is imperative to complain, especially if the product / service or employee has not delivered to what has been stated. How are businesses going to improve their services; customer engagement or deliver exceptional customer experience if they do not understand what they are doing wrong.

    Complaining to a business is for their benefit, otherwise how do they learn to make it right?

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Quite! Thanks for commenting!

      • Mrs v saundersr says:

        My husband and i use Tesco all the time but are very disappointed that Tesco no longer supply catalogues. Not everyone knows exactly what to buy without flicking through a catalogue, it is not the same to search on computer. We have not purchased any item through mail order since you discontinued your catalogues. You are doing tesco a disservice. Please think again, you are probably losing a great deal of business.

  2. crispin says:

    This is a great item on complaining. Effective complaining is something of an art and, almost like a relationship, you have to feel your way through it.
    Some companies respond very well and will go out of there way to resolve the issue with little or no fuss. Sadly those are in the minority, most seem to make it awkward to complain, I suppose hoping you’ll go away. As soon as I detect the dismissive approach I’m onto the more public forums such as twitter, which generally gets a far better and quicker outcome when previously “nothing can be done”.

  3. Mrs. J. Childs says:

    I tried to make an enquiry, via the telphone, to the Tesco Privilege Card number. I waited on the line for a GOOD 20 minutes before FINALLY somebody answered me. When this Person came on the line I said “Aah” (as much as to say “finally – at last”). I absolutely and categorically said NOTHING more. This Person then said to me “I’m Sorry but I have to end this call now!” to which I replied “Hold On”. He then put the phone down on me!!! I tried calling the same phone number again and……another 20 minute wait before I once again, finally got an answer. I told this man that I was very annoyed that I had waited 20 minutes previously just the have this man put the phone down on me and NOW I have finally got through to him after ANOTHER 20 minutes. I told him that I wished to complain and he told me (totally unconvincingly) that he would put forward my complaint. He, I am certain, did nothing of the sort. Finally, I would ask, how can one complain about such ignorance from a foreign national that I spoke to in the first place. He obviously decided that he didn’t feel like speaking to me and cut me off. He should not be given the privilege of a job if he is unable to do it properly.

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