In practice there is often a debate about whether a customer concern is really a complaint or ‘just’ an enquiry, comment or suggestion. There is the tendency to choose a strict interpretation of the term ‘complaint’, in order to reduce the number of registered complaints. This chapter shows that this approach is problematic. Any statement of dissatisfaction should be categorized and registered as a complaint. Claims on the basis of contractual agreements are only a subset of complaints.
Reservations about complaints are often based on prejudices that have a certain plausibility but do not correspond to reality. Therefore, particularly widespread prejudices are discussed critically. It will be shown that having a small number of complaints is not a meaningful indicator of customer satisfaction, and that complaints by no means impose only costs but also offer opportunities for revenues and profits.