In our core consulting work, we help companies and work groups operate more effectively – mostly in the interest of fostering the types of workplaces where employees want to work.
We were recently partnering with an organization that was trying to improve its work environment by working through the stress of improving customer relations. In evaluating customer complaints we saw a lot of (what appeared to be) broadly dissatisfied customer. Meaning that, when something was wrong, everything was wrong.
Upon investigating, what you often learn in these situations is that individuals have a bad habit of creating the supporting conditions that bolster their case.
“Everything was awful" can, in truth, mean that a shipment was a day late.
“You have terrible customer service,” ended up meaning that an initial call went to voicemail.
You see this sort of thing all the time. It’s what makes so many Tripadvisor reviews hard to believe.
The reality of a negative experience can be bad enough. There's no need to embellish it in order to make a claim look more valid.