and listening in a calm manner. Think
about customer retention.
2. Repeat. Summarize what the custom-
ers say so they know you are listening
4. Acknowledge. Show the customer that
you recognize the existence, truth, and
facts of the complaint. Here is where
you send the message to the customer
that you are in receipt of the information.
5. Explain. What are you going to do
and when are you going to get back
to the customer? For example, “I am
going to evaluate the process, talk to
the individuals involved, and I will
call you back in 5 days.” Sometimes
the customers will not want you to get
back to them; they just want you to
look into the matter.
6. Thank you. Thank the customer for
taking the time to bring this matter to
your attention and taking the time to
talk with you. Their time is important!
other people with all their problems and
worries, making those people feel bad,
while they end up feeling GREAT!
So what’s next? Learn to love complaints. Only one in seven customers will
complain and that customer is telling
you they would like to continue doing
business with you only if you correct the
problem. The other six are likely taking
their business to your competition.
pdf. Accessed January 22, 2011.
3Shaw Resources. Using Complaints. Available at:
html. Accessed January 22, 2011.
4Watts BN. Why do some people complain about
everything. Helium. Available at: http://
Accessed January 30, 2011.
1Pepiton J. Top 10 consumer complaints in 2009.
Cable News Network. July 27, 2010. Available
index.htm. Accessed January 22, 2011.
2Effective Complaints Management in Healthcare. MetricStream. 2010. Available at:
Jim Lipcamon is the director of imaging services at
Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital in Council
Bluffs, IA and is editor-in-chief of Radiology
Management. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree
in healthcare management from Bellevue University.
Jim may be reached at James.Lipcamon@NMHS. ORG.
Although the focus of this information
is not on the chronic complainer I must
take a few minutes to address this individual. Just because a person complains
a lot does not necessarily mean they are
unhappy. 4 There are different reasons
why people complain. Yes, some people
do complain because they are unhappy.
They are unhappy about themselves and
they are unhappy about their lives. These
people will always find something to
complain about. Complaining is an effective mechanism they have learned in order to help them cope with their unhappiness. 4 How about those who complain
and are happy? For some complainers, it
has become a bad habit they have picked
up. 4 These are the type of people who either just need to complain for no good
reason, or they are so used to constantly
complaining they do not even notice they
are doing it. Finally, people complain because it makes them feel better. 4 These
people are not necessarily unhappy, but
by complaining about every tiny thing
that bothers them, they actually feel better. In essence, these individuals burden