Customer Service Tips

Dealing With Customer Complaints

When a customer complains, should a business owner be upset? Absolutely not. By looking at a complaint as an opportunity to improve, you can take your business to an entirely new level of customer service and build a base of happy, satisfied and loyal customers.

No one likes to hear complaints, but when customers let us know they are dissatisfied with any aspect of their "shopping" experience, it can actually be a positive thing.


Because the lines of communication have been opened and there's a true chance for some effective, two-way feedback.

Sometimes when customers are unhappy, they simply take their business elsewhere and never really explain what went wrong.

But when a customer takes the time to actually complain, he or she is giving us an opportunity to put things right -- in other words, they're presenting a second chance to satisfy them.

Research shows that when a customer who complains has the problem solved quickly and courteously, that customer will actually become more loyal to your business than they ever were!

When a customer calls to complain, you have the chance to find out and investigate what went wrong.

If one person calls about something, it's safe to assume that they are not the only one who is unhappy or has experienced a problem. Once you address the issue, you can put procedures in place to correct the situation and prevent it from happening again.

The customer's comments may also be a wake-up call to the fact that your staff needs additional training, or more responsibility in handling customer questions and concerns. Perhaps you need to add more shipping options, change your packaging, or include better details with your products.

Whatever the situation may be, remember that the customer has opened this channel of communication and it is now up to you to handle the problem promptly and politely.

Treat the customer as you would expect to be treated. Apologize, and if appropriate, pay them a visit. Tell them how much you appreciate their input and the opportunity to serve them again. Thank them for helping you correct the problem.

It's important for every business to have procedures in place for handling customer complaints.

Believe it or not, complaints open the door for increased customer loyalty and set the stage for a true business "friendship."

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Do you have any customer complaint stories to share? What happened and how did you react?

  • katrina posted on 7/14/2009
    I appreciate this article about customer complaints. I hope many more customer service articles will be posted here and also some customer service case sudies because it can help many people esp. students like me to have more knowledge regarding customer service.

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