Years ago I read a wonderful book, The Gift of Pain by Philip Yancey. The central thesis of the book is that pain is a gift because it is a warning signal which alerts us to the need to take action before a situation gets worse. I found this concept particularly useful when I owned my business, because from time to time you would get a customer complaint which at the time was potentially time consuming and frustrating. However, what it did do was make us aware of systems in our business that needed to be changed.
A recent example is the shopping basket on our website. When the new book was released, there were a number of complaints from potential buyers who were not happy that they were being forced to use PayPal. After doing some research, we discovered that PayPal had changed their systems to push people in their direction, which we were not happy about. Fortunately our web person discovered a new payment system called Stripe that takes makes it easy to take credit cards and PayPal, and has a magnificent accounting system. The cream on the cake was that it enabled us to ditch the merchant fee with our bank which was costing $40 a month.
It’s a wake-up to all of us in business – feedback from clients is one of the best resources we have.