How to Contribute and Improve Service Quality As a Customer

Every month I receive messages from students and readers that begin, “I got such terrible service from…” and often close, “…and I’ll never go back there again!”

I find these stories upsetting, occasionally entertaining, but rarely are they motivating or instructive.

Here’s why:

Anyone with enough intelligence and emotion to muster a written complaint also has the ability to offer a constructive solution. Customers can improve customer service quality if they know how to not only moan and complain, but also contribute. If you can see what’s wrong with a situation, you must have some idea about what would set it right. Sharing this can improve customer service quality for the better.

Noticing problems is half the puzzle; getting things improved is the more important part.

If you are upset with a vendor, colleague or business partner, you must have some expectations unmet, some needs ignored or some preferences overlooked.

Your view of the situation is unique and your perspective may be very useful to the other party to help them improve customer service quality. Clearly stated, your requests and recommendations could make a difference.

Unless you enjoy complaining for its own sake, follow these five simple steps to help everyone improve.

How to complain for action and improve customer service quality

1. State your original understanding, including the promise you heard and the standards you expected.

2. Identify the flaw, gap or oversight you experienced.

3. Explain the consequences you have suffered: costs, anxiety, adverse impact.

4. Request specific remedial action and/or compensation.

5. Make a suggestion for improvement. Help the other party do a better job the next time.

Key learning point for customer service quality

You have the right to complain when things do not work out as you expected. But complaining is only half the job; you also have a responsibility to contribute and help improve customer service quality.

Action steps for customer service quality

The next time something goes wrong and you want to “give someone a piece of your mind,” make sure that piece is constructive.

Read more articles from Ron Kaufman

Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “UP! Your Service” books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit

Ron Kaufman
Ron Kaufman

Ron is one of the world’s most sought-after educators, consultants, thought-leaders and customer service speakers in achieving superior service. He is the author of New York Times bestseller ‘Uplifting Service’ and 14 other books on service, business and inspiration. Ron is also a regular columnist at Bloomberg Business Week and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today.

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