Complaining vs Whining

Great leaders embrace complaints both from staff members and customers and see those complaints as an opportunity to fix something. Great leaders enjoy fixing things. Great leaders see complaints as opportunities, not as “Oh crap, we’ve got another problem.”

The silent majority of a dealership’s customer base is often the killer. Frequently the real problem is that staff members don’t see the benefit of a customer complaint. Getting the staff to embrace complaints as a way to get better is the challenge of leadership. Far too often when a team member gets a complaint they immediately go on the defensive.

Once complaints are uncovered the next and most important step is to fix the problem. If you keep getting the same complaints over and over then you have either the wrong processes or the wrong people. In either case it’s up to the leader to fix it.

And never forget there’s a big difference between complaining and whining. There are some customers and yes, some team members who whine. They whine about anything and everything.

Sometimes the best decision you make is when you fire a customer or a team member. Just because we embrace legitimate complaints doesn’t mean that we have to tolerate unacceptable whining.

The key is to know and recognize the difference and to take appropriate action with each. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs