97% Customer Satisfaction?
Here's what you can learn from the other 3%.

As Senior Director of Safety and Training for America's largest maritime ports operator, I often visited management in the field to assess ways that our management training pipeline might improve.


You can learn little from victory, you can learn everything from defeat."

During one visit to a west coast port operation, I was called aside by a customer representative who had me listen to a voice message left by an important client. The caller was outraged! She let us know in no uncertain terms that she had been unable to get a solution to her urgent problem despite taking it to every level. And furthermore, she said she will do her best to take her company's business elsewhere.

The customer rep explained to me that he had been trying to resolve her problem and those in the chain who should have been able to help had indicated there were more pressing problems than his client's.

I knew that his was just the tip of the iceberg. Our company had been growing by leaps and bounds and, unfortunately, had adopted the attitude that you can't please everyone, so some hiccups along the way were expected. I had even been told at an executive briefing that 97% satisfaction was par for the course. Our company had begun to believe that the 3% dissatisfied customers was insignificant and there would be enough revenue from the 97% to make up for the losses.

The truth be told, we were missing a real opportunity. As Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Christy Mathewson once said, "You can learn little from victory, you can learn everything from defeat." That unhappy 3% represented significant insights as to why we were not meeting their expectations. We needed to learn from those "losses".

Companies today are quick to tout their customer satisfaction survey results because customer service blemishes are easy to conceal within a survey scale. Unfortunately,opportunities to learn about problems are also hidden. If you take the time to look behind the numbers, you can turn those specific negative comments into revenue generating opportunities. Don't give up a problem-solving opportunity. Learn how you can make that 3% the best information you can get to help you compete!


Take the time to look behind the numbers.
You can turn those specific negative comments into revenue generating opportunities
.