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Handling Customer Complaints

When a customer complains, it can be difficult to know how to react and what to do to calm the situation down. These top tips give you some hints on handling customer complaints and how to turn a complaining customer into a happy one.

  1. REMAIN CALM

    When a customer has a complaint, it is likely they will be upset, frustrated or annoyed by it. However, you need to remember it is not (or should not be) you that they are angry with, it is the situation. You need to stay calm and in control of your emotions, and depersonalise the conversation.

  2. LISTEN

    Even if you believe you know what the complaint is about, you must listen to the customer until they have said what they feel they need to say. Don’t interrupt, don’t try immediately to fix the problem, just listen. In this way, you give the customer a chance to calm down and feel heard. Watch your body language here, make sure you are making eye contact, nodding occasionally and looking interested and alert.

  3. ADMIT THE PROBLEM

    If the problem is down to your business, then you need to admit it openly and honestly. If there is no mistake or error but one of misunderstanding, then acknowledge the issue for the customer and how frustrating it must be for them.

  4. CONFIRM THE FACTS

    Now you should have the information from the customer, but you need to confirm and make sure you have everything. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, they may miss out key pieces of information.

  5. SUGGEST A SOLUTION

    Now is the time to suggest a solution. It is important you take ownership of this and don’t try to make it someone else’s problem. You need to be fully aware of what is in your power to solve the issue. If you promise something now that you cannot deliver, it will only make the situation worse. Check with the customer that they are happy with the solution you have offered.

  6. FOLLOW UP

    If possible, take the opportunity to follow up after the conversation to ensure the customer continues to be happy with the solution.

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