Monday, January 22, 2001
home page local news opinion business island life sports
AP MoneyWire
Island Bank Rates
Small Business
AP Technology News
AP Stock Quotes
Search by ticker symbol, abbreviation from The Advertiser or company name

Classified Ads
Restaurant Guide
Business Directory

Posted on: Monday, January 22, 2001

60 Seconds on Business
Complaints reveal what needs fixing

By Dr. Drake Beil
President, Solutions Inc.

Have you ever had a service problem? Have you ever expected something to get done, but were told the deadline couldn’t be met? Or they ran out? We all have had something like that happen to us at one time or another. But at the core of the frustration lie opportunities for companies to build customer loyalty and profitability at the same time.

Start by examining a situation and what a perfect situation would be like. Get employees involved.

A rental car company I worked with had 900-plus complaint letters a month. Each cost the firm more than $50, which meant they were investing more than $10,000 a month in irritating people.

When I talked to the front-line folks and read recent complaints, I found that most were over amounts of less than $10. With support from management, we instituted an employee empowerment program that enabled front-line workers to waive costs up to $50 on the spot, based on criteria.

These waivers and adjustments cost only $2,500 a month, a 75 percent reduction in direct costs. The savings in reduced grief was even more valuable.

With more employee input, we developed a tracking system and held follow up meetings. We reduced the complaints more than 90 percent within six months.

Quite a turnaround.

Dr. Drake Beil can be reached at

[back to top]

Home | Local News | Opinion | Business | Island Life | Sports
USA Today Stocks | Island Stocks | Island Mutuals | Island Bank Rates
Small Business Resources | Investment Glossary
How to Subscribe | How to Advertise | Site Map | Terms of Service | Corrections

© COPYRIGHT 2001 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.