Greg Sutherland, the executive general manager of strategy and innovation at National Australia Bank, describes how NAB set out to differentiate itself from other banks by listening to customer complaints. For years, banks have justified their overdraft fees on the basis that they are providing a service, a line of credit. But customers don't see it that way-- and NAB listened.
Banks and companies should actually thank those customers that complain because these customers spent the time and energy to provide some feedback, even if it was negative. They gave us the opportunity to correct a mistake, improve a process, innovate a solution, etc. On the other hand, the customer had the option to say nothing and just walk away from our organization for good by going straight to the competitor. If they had done this, we would have learned nothing and would have continued "serving bad beer" and continued to lose customers until it was too late.
The point is that customer complaints should be valued even more because they provide us with the opportunity to improve ourselves, which may help keep us ahead of the competition.
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