Sunday, January 22, 2006

"The Whine Syndrom"

This was actually written as support for a post on another blog.

As rational (?) people in a forward thinking society one would expect problem solving to be approached with an open and somewhat reticent mind before taking action. This particular blog involved a broken link to a free book down load for an e-zine subscription. The person who wrote the e-mail complained and carried on threating to take the issue to various forums if the link wasn't fixed and they didn't get the book along with an apology. They were very rude actually. They got the apology, but no book and yes, the link was fixed.

Customer experience management would be the key here. It isn't the happy customers we really need to worry about, but how to disarm and tranquilize the un-happy ones. The point of this is as people dealing with customers, fellow employees or bosses we do the same thing and create the same kind of issues. I can't count the number of times that I have observed on the store floor in front of dozens of customers an employee whine to a manager or fellow employee about an issue like my 4 year old. This also happens in business meetings as well and in front of clients no less. First it isn't the place and as professionals we should be neutralizing the issues and proving solutions not creating the problems. Yes, even in small businesses if you are part of that organization you are supposed to be a professional

So here it is, to all the "Whiners".

I have six kids and I love them all. The one thing that frustrated me the most as a parent was the "Whine". Apparently some people have never grown up and I agree it is just as irritating hearing it from grownups (adults?) as it is from a 4 year old.

In business it is not uncommon to observe this behavior in our customers especially if they get to address the issues in person. I guess I blame their parents for not teaching them the right kind of communication skills and behaviors or is it for not discouraging the bad ones?

What takes this to another level is that I also have seen this at a B2B level with professionals or not so professional. As a customer experience consultant one of the hardest things to deal with is the "Whine" so I appreciate your insight. Perhaps someone can create a "whine bomb" hmm, I wonder how disruptive that would be?

In business a customer and the employee/manager or owner all has an un-defined responsibility to use good and proper communication skills and to approach challenges openly and to solve problems with an unobstructed view. I guess this person had a mountain blocking their view.

I can't believe they still insisted on the book. Maybe they needed some kind of validation that their "Whine" threat and intimidation of exposure has its reward. Maybe we should call their mom and dad and have them put this person on the time out chair until they achieve better behavior and say I'm sorry for their rudeness. Maybe we should all think about this before we put our own selves in this position when we are hurt, or feel threatened, or feel the right to complain. My mom told me if you can’t be apart of the solution shut up or something like that. Maybe someday I’ll hear the cry, Death to the “Whine”.

As always your comment is invited and encouraged.

For more information on Creating “The best in Customer Experiences” go to
The Customer Development Center.

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