Making the Most out of Customer Complaints

How you handle client complaints is every bit as important for your farrier business as providing great service in the first place.

Every business can expect complaints from clients. Farriers are no exception. I have seen farriers throw down their tools and verbally lambaste clients who voice a complaint or otherwise question their work. I’ve heard responses such as:

  • “If you can do this job better, do it yourself.”
  • “Until you become a farrier, don’t even think of questioning me.”
  • “I’ve been shoeing for 30 years, so you have no right to question me.”
  • Comments like these reflect on both the farrier and the farrier’s business.

Count Your Blessings

A client complaint can actually be a blessing in disguise. For every person who complains, there are probably more who don’t bother to complain to you, but may well be spreading negative comments about your service. When a client complains, deal with it directly and address the cause. That way, you are assuring the client that his or her problem has been heard and acted upon.

Avoiding or blowing off a complaint jeopardizes repeat business, profits and puts your reputation at risk.

Instead of avoiding complaints or being afraid of them, consider the advantages of hearing your clients’ complaints. Consider each complaint as part of a feedback system that can help you learn, improve, develop better client relationships and enhance your footcare business.

Everyone has heard the oft-repeated slogan, “The customer is always right.” But few realize the phrase was never…

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Esco Buff

Esco Buff, CF, APF, is a farrier in Web­ster, N.Y., and holds a PhD in bus­iness administration. He is a member of the Interna­tional Horseshoeing Hall of Fame.

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