SCORE Small Business Blog

Life Balance: To Complain or Not to Complain:

That is the Question?

We are taught not to complain but think about all the times you did not complain when you received bad service, bad food, a bad product or an extra charge on a bill?

In fact, management needs to know when there are service and/or product deficiencies.
You can make a difference by bringing a problem to the attention of management. Owners of companies appreciate feedback and manager needs to know in order to stay in business!

How to make a complaint:

  1. Speak to the person in charge.
  2. Complain at the time the problem occurs.
  3. If you don’t get results, put it in writing and send it to the owner or manager to recap the situation with dates of occurrence and keep track of the dates of communication.
  4. Most business owners will respond to complaints and correct the problem.

If you do not get results, contact The Better Business Bureau, Department of Consumer Protection or go on websites that rate business, such as and, to name a few.

In some cases complaining may not help because the business does not have the skill to change the bad business practice. Businesses can not afford to lose customers in this economy and people who have had a bad experience in any business talk about it to everyone they meet.

The solution to continued business complaints can be as simple as training, so that the staff can represent the company properly or the product knowledge that is missing from employees selling any product or service.

In these tough economic times, the only way to stay in business is to be better than the competition. If a customer complains, it is essential to make sure that the customer is satisfied. Always try to exceed customers’ expectations!

It is also nice to compliment salespeople, waiters, and other service people when exceptional service is given. It always makes people feel good; great work should not go unappreciated.

Think about it: Being complimentary costs nothing and goes a long way!

A Business owner or manager also likes to know that they are doing a good job and that customers will return. Without customers there is no business so always think about how to satisfy your customers.

Julie BranderBusiness Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business. | @juliebrander | More from Julie

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