Do you like being told what to do? What if that demand is coming from someone who has sold you something? I can tell you that I am not a fan of either of those situations, unless it’s a personal trainer at a gym. If your business is in a position to make demands, the skills required for handling complaints are the keys to your success.
This is the second part of a story that started with a blog earlier this year. Briefly the story can be summed up this way; I had to go on a bit of an adventure to purchase software I needed for my company and the distributors of the product had not found an effective way to sell the item that did not involve everyone going on a wild hunt.
Today’s post has to do with the next part of the relationship – the requirement to register the software, which I was informed had to done by contacting the software company by phone. For although an online registration was available, their servers were too overwhelmed to connect me, so time after time I was directed to call their toll-free number.
In order to register the software, a number of questions were posed:
- what is your name?
- what is your position?
- what is the name of your business?
- where are you located?
- what is your phone number?
- how many employees do you have?
None of this should have been off putting, and it is typically information I am happy to share with individuals. Somehow, during this particular interaction, all I could think was, why does a software company need all of this information?
Having worked for the government in the realm of consumer protection, and being slightly sceptical about the dissemination of my personal information, the interaction with the agent on the phone really got my back up. All of which was made worse when I asked why all of the information was necessary. I was informed that it was simply a policy of the company. And when I complained that I did not want to provide the information I was told that it would be impossible for him to register my software without it.
I was infuriated.
I asked to speak to his superior. Who was able to clarify that all of the information was being asked for my own good, so that they could locate my file later. Not all business owners require companies to store information on their behalf. Some of us are capable of taking care of our own responsibilities and managing files of information.
Today’s lesson: if you have designed your business in a way that demands information from your clients, to avoid complaint handling have an alternative option for your customers who do not wish to disclose. The marketplace is unfortunately susceptible to imperfect solutions for the storage of personal information.
If that road is not available to you, then work with the customer to ensure that they feel confident about the reason for handing over the information to you, especially when you have no inherent value to provide to them or no policy in place to allow for exceptions. Handling complaints around privacy and information storage are commonplace in today’s marketplace, have a plan to deal with the frustrations your customers may experience.