customer complaints

How To Handle Customer Complaints

How your customer service team handles customer complaints on calls, review websites, email, and more can have a profound impact on your business. A positive experience will keep your customers coming back to you. A negative experience can turn a customer away forever—and even hurt your chances of getting new customers in the future.

Still, there are ways to turn even the poorest customer experiences around so they work in your favor. Let’s discuss the best ways to transform customer complaints into positive reviews and protect your reputation at the same time.

Keep Calm During Customer Complaints

As stated by A Better Answer the last thing you want to do is make a customer angry. Maintaining a friendly voice and helpful demeanor can help dissipate any hostility and disarm negative attitudes.

Remember not to take a caller’s words personally. They are not angry with you—they are angry at the situation. While you, unfortunately, may bear the brunt of those feelings, you’re in a powerful position to change the negative thoughts toward the brand you represent. Don’t let that opportunity get away from you.

Try to smile while you talk. It’s simple advice, but this will help you sound more pleasant in a natural way. Answer any negativity with just the opposite.

Be Empathetic

You can bring a customer’s frustration level down by empathizing with their situation. Most people just want to feel heard and understood. They need someone to listen. Using sentences like, “I would be upset, too, if this happened to me,” can help build the relationship with the customer.

Even if you think their issue is silly or easily resolved, it still feels like a big deal to the customer, so never downplay their feelings or situation. Rather, acknowledge their frustration with the problem, and apologize for any confusion or inconvenience they may have experienced. Let them know you’re on their side and want to work with them to find a resolution—not argue with them.

Offer A Solution

The whole reason a customer is getting in touch with a company or customer service is to get something resolved. Again, listen intently. The simple presence of genuine, undivided attention may sometimes be enough to soothe a caller when they’re upset.

See what you can do to alleviate their frustration and solve their problem as quickly as possible once they’re done explaining. Convenience for the customer is also key.

If the resolution involves something you’re unsure about, be transparent that you may need to consult with management—or put management on the line instead. Let them know you’re putting them on hold to investigate further, and then work as fast as possible to resolve things and get back on the line. Long wait and hold times will make a customer feel worse.

Thank Them

Be sure to thank callers for getting in touch with you and let them know you appreciate their feedback. Tell them you’ve taken note of it to improve processes for them in the future. Even if the worst happens and you lose that person as a customer, their critique could lead to a problem you may not have even known was there. You can fix the issue to make other customers happier (so you don’t lose any more—like stopping up a leak on a sinking boat).

See if there is anything else you can help with at the end of the call and wish them a wonderful day or night. Using a personal touch tends to make people feel at least a little bit better, so any kind words, greetings, or use of the caller’s name can only get you more points with the customer.

Aim for Top-Notch Customer Service Experiences… Every Time

Appropriately handling customer complaints helps your business run smoothly. Getting these calls right provides one more layer of armor against lost customers.

By giving a helping hand, a friendly tone, and a resolution to their problem, you will show callers you care. It will increase customer satisfaction, motivate people to return to your company for more business down the road. Even if their first impression wasn’t the absolute best.

Infographic created by Clover Network, a POS software company

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