Don’t be an Online Ostrich – Online CAD Catalog and Sales Configurator

We recently had a discussion with an industrial manufacturer; his company has a decent website which offers CAD downloads in the form of STEP/IGES – strictly generic “non-native” CAD downloads. We were demonstrating how we could improve his online presence with the PARTsolutions online CAD catalog and it’s 150 native CAD formats. Then he stopped us cold in our tracks.

“I never receive any complaints about my website, so why should I worry?”

I was blown away. Then I realized, some people are actually Ostriches. It’s a tragic medical fact that a certain demographic actually prefers to keep their head in the sand.  That’s why I’m here to hook them up with facts and perspective, so they can see the light. If you aren’t receiving any complaints, that’s only part of the story.

Do you ever complain about that abandoned mall that you never go to? Every town has one, and for one reason or another, you haven’t been there in years. Do you call or email the owner of that mall to complain?

Hello, Mrs. Mall Owner, I’m calling to inform you that I will no longer be attending your establishment because I like Cinnabon and you only have Sbarro’s.”

No. Nobody does that, if you don’t like something you just stop going. You don’t waste a single second of your day to inform the proprietor you will be formally breaking-up with them. Websites are the same way, if something doesn’t work or seems a little “off” you just stop going. It’s as simple as that.

How often do customers actually complain? According to Juliet Mumford , author of “Customer Complaints – They Are Just the Tip of The Iceberg!”, many companies are noting the lack of customer feedback.  “Recognizing this phenomenon, British Airways (BA) decided to conduct its own research to see what happened with its complaints procedure. Remarkably, they discovered that only 8% of customer complaints were ever registered with a customer services representative – in other words, just the tip of the iceberg.   Instead, 23% talked to the nearest employee, and a further 69% suffered in silence and did not tell anyone at BA. Had BA been basing its customer satisfaction on the number of complaints received they would have only been looking at a tiny part of the total picture.”

Conclusion: “Very few dissatisfied customers complain, making this a meaningless measure of customer satisfaction.”

Mumford adds, “Very few customers will complain directly to you, but that does not mean that they won’t complain to other people. In fact in reality it’s quite the opposite. A research study conducted by TARP research back in 1999 discovered that on average an unhappy customer will tell 10 people about their experience. In turn, these 10 people will each tell a further 5 people, meaning that a total of 50 people will have heard about their bad experience.”

“What’s even more frightening, however, is that if we work on the basis that only one out of every ten of your dissatisfied customers registers a complaint with you, then in total, for every formal complaint you receive, 500 people will have heard about your customers’ problems!”

You don’t get any complaints, but do you ever receive compliments? We have seen the evidence for the lack of customer complaints, but does your site or service ever receive praise form visitors?  The common ratio among marketers is you receive 1 compliment for every 10 complaints. So, if 1 compliment is worth 10 complaints, and for each complaint 500 people have heard about the problem, each compliment is really worth 5000 complaints! Ouch.

PARTsolutions is in the business of creating that remarkable online customer experience by offering engineers the data and CAD models they NEED. We don’t require these engineers to use our system, we make sure our data works in their system. PARTsolutions CAD downloads are available in more than 150 native and neutral formats, compliment worthy indeed.

Tom Wood, Marketing Manager at Bimba, a CADENAS PARTsolutions customer, tells us his website receives “daily, unsolicited, positive feedback” from web visitors in regards to their online CAD catalog. Daily compliments trumps “no complaints” every time, especially if each of those praises are worth more than 500 negatives.

Contact PARTsolutions today to find out how your online CAD catalog and sales configurator can start generating praise and positive feedback.



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Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Marketing graduate from the Miami University, Farmer School of Business in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.