In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s never been easier for customers to complain.

No matter how good your business is, there will always be a small number of people who aren’t happy with what you do. Put simply, you can’t please everyone. 

Good customer service is a key factor in the success of any business so it’s important to deal with customer complaints in an effective manner. 

If a customer takes the time to complain, you should view it as an opportunity to take some feedback and learn how to improve certain aspects of your business. 

As with anything in business, it’s best to be proactive. Make it easy for your customers to find email addresses and phone numbers so that they can reach you if they have a complaint. You can also prompt your customers for feedback by sending them a post purchase feedback survey.

When responding to a customer complaint, you should try to respond quickly and efficiently. This sends the message that you care and are taking their complaint seriously. 

Many customer complaints cannot be solved immediately, but they can be acknowledged. If you receive a complaint, try to respond on the same day confirming that you have received their complaint and that you are looking into the situation. This will help your customer feel that their voice is being heard.

Regardless of the nature of the complaint, focus on listening to the customer and try to understand the situation from their perspective. Then apologise. You may not be sorry that they didn’t like your product or service, but you can apologise that their expectations were not met or that they had a disappointing experience. 

The customer doesn’t always have to be right but they should always be heard. The simple act of listening and apologising can often be enough to resolve the situation.

You can then shift the conversation towards a solution. Avoid making any false promises but agree to take feedback from the customer and share it with others in the business so that you can consider how to improve elements of your product or service offering. This shows the customer that you value their feedback.

Customer complaints can be stressful and difficult to deal with. However, they are also a source of feedback and should be viewed as an opportunity to learn more about the customer experience and to find ways to improve.

For more general business advice take a look at our blog page.