“We Haven’t Had Any Complaints”

In Business & Entrepreneurship
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I told an employee at a business that their WiFi signal was really weak and not functional enough for me to even use.

She replied that no one else had complained about the WiFi, as if this truth (?) invalidated my lonely complaint.

She claimed that she would look into the situation and get back to me.

I’m dubious.

Three things about this.

  1. The entry-level female employee I spoke to about the WiFi was not the owner of the business in question. Her response to my statement about the WiFi communicated a lack of ownership. Ownership is not about being the proprietor of a business. It’s the mindset of owning any challenges that happen on the job and taking responsibility for making your customers happy. A business that fails to do so, goes out of business. Thing is, many “just an employee”-level workers don’t give a damn about this — they’re paid by the hour, or they’re on salary; if this business fails, they’ll get a new job someplace else. So the actual, on-paper owner of a business better choose his/her staff wisely. Because they often never hear about conversations like the one I had with their employee, then wonder what the hell happened to all their customers.
  2. I once had a contentious conversation with a person who was a manager — a level or two above entry level — at a corporation. When she realized that I was challenging her, she laid out her credentials in defense. I’ve been doing this for this many years, I manage this many people, our company does this much business each year… this resume-shielding habit is what people do when they have nothing of substance to add to the subject at hand. I’m not getting my way right now, but let me tell you what I’ve done in the past! Corporate employees have used this one with me many times (though it’s not limited to at-work conflicts). I think it’s part of their training.
  3. Most consumers of your goods will never, ever complain — even when your goods are pure garbage. They simply don’t come back to buy from you ever again. A lack of complaints is not an indication that you’re doing well. It just means there aren’t many people who are willing to deal with the discomfort of telling you to your face that you shit stinks. That’s your job — to ask enough people and let them feel comfortable enough to tell you, and/or for you to notice it and tell yourself.