The Streamlined Business Blog

Embrace Complaints to Improve Your Business Systems

Embrace Complaints to Improve Your Business Systems imageHow well do you LISTEN to customers and employees when they complain that written instructions in your company procedure manuals and employee manuals are hard to understand or missing important steps?

It’s human nature to get defensive when criticized. The knee jerk reaction to complaints is usually to stop listening and start explaining, excusing, or dismissing the criticism. That’s a BIG mistake if you truly want to streamline operations and overcome organization challenges.

When customers or employees complain about instructions—or lack of instructions—it gives you a wealth of key information for improving your systems. As the old saying goes, “There’s gold in them thar hills!”

If they are complaining, they care. They are telling you they need better information. They are telling you where your systems may be broken and in need of repair. They are telling you what they want and need.

Listening carefully is the critical first step, but don’t stop there. Dig deeper and EMBRACE complaints as a tool to improve. Find out exactly what it is about the written instructions that is unclear to the complainer and commit to trying to fix it.

You’ll be amazed at how doing this one thing can rapidly improve your business systems. Countless of our customers simply started out wanting to improve their written policies and procedures, but, once they began to examine them more closely, they discovered their underlying systems and operating practices were confusing, frustrating or wasteful. Changing their “system” brought major savings and improved bottom line results.

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