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How to respond to customer complaints



When you notice that your customer has sent an email complaint, a negative tweet, or complained over the phone, your first natural reaction will be one of confusion and curiosity. But when you think about it, assess the complaints, and understand the reasons behind them, only then you would know how to respond to customer complaints.

Master how to respond to customer complaints

How to respond to customer complaints

Customer happiness is the key to success for every business. Customer experience always matters to sustenance in a competitive market. Happy customers who solve their problems tell 4-5 people about their positive experiences. On the other hand, the negative impact of an unsatisfactory customer experience is felt on a broader scale, with unhappy customers telling 9–15 people about their experiences.

Why do customers complain?

How to respond to customer complaints

Today’s consumers demand high standards when it comes to the quality of a product or service. As a result, they are more informed and vocal than ever before if their standards are not met. That’s why brands face increasing pressure to meet high customer experience standards at all touch points. A recent Amazon survey concluded that 55% of consumers would not recommend a business where they had a negative experience. It means, that brands must have various strategies in place for handling customer service issues quickly and efficiently to preserve a positive brand image and prevent negative consumer perception. That is why being in the customer service industry is a tough time. Whether your consumers see the brand negatively or positively, their feedback will help you shape your business. To simplify it, here are:

6 tips on responding to customer complaints

To uncover the reason, you received a complaint from a customer and solve the problem to retain that customer, use these six effective steps for handling customer complaints.

How to respond to customer complaints

Key Areas:

Listen to the customer complaints

The first step of responding to a consumer complaint is listening to the entire criticism. Showing lively listening abilities followed by feedback can show your client that you value their grievances. Listening carefully to the complaint can also assist in fully apprehending the problem so that you can chart an excellent course of action afterwards. If you acquire criticism in writing, make sure to study it multiple times to fully grasp the issues of your consumers.

Be aware of key problem areas

While every complaint is unique, a few critical problem areas generally cause the majority of consumer dissatisfaction. Make sure to be familiar with where these complaints will most likely occur in your service and have a plan to address them.

These include

Service issues: Customers may be dissatisfied with the speed of service, the quality of the service representative’s communication, or the accuracy of the service provided.

Product issues: These complaints are often related to quality control or shipping/fulfilment issues.

Billing and payment issues: Customers will often be dissatisfied with billing and payment terms that they find unfair or when they find difficulty in canceling the account.


Respond immediately

Customers expect brands to respond quickly to complaints and to be prepared to resolve the situation. According to a survey by Service Excellence, the majority of customers expect a response from brands within an hour of submitting a complaint.

You should follow these steps: Identify the source of the complaint. Are you responding to a social media post, email, phone call, or another type of communication? Be sure to source the communication to ensure you are addressing the correct issue.  Get all the details. Who is the customer? What was the complaint? And how can you help to resolve the situation? Take notes during the conversation to ensure you have all the facts. Find the right person to respond to. If the complaint was submitted via social media, find the appropriate company representative (or several) to respond to the post. If the complaint was submitted via email, find the appropriate customer service representative to respond.

Apologize and thank the customer

First, acknowledge the customer’s complaint and then apologize for any inconvenience caused. Be specific about the problem and the reasons behind such. Next, outline a timeline for resolving the situation. Include information about how long the situation should take to resolve and what the customer can expect to happen during that time. Here’s an example: “I ordered the product on April 12, but it was not shipped until April 25.” Problem Resolution Timeline: “We’re very sorry that the product didn’t ship as quickly as expected. We will be shipping the product out to you on April 27. ” Problem Resolution: “We understand that this problem caused you a great deal of inconvenience. We’d like to offer you 10% off your next purchase as a token of our appreciation for your business.

Focus on the solution

How to respond to customer complaints

Once you’ve listened to the customer’s complaint and apologized, you can explain what went wrong from your side. Sometimes a customer’s misunderstanding is the reason for their complaint. That’s why learning more about customer intentions would probably settle his feelings.

However, refrain from having arguments with the customer as it will spiral down into a bad experience for both parties involved. As a substitute, shift the communication to the direction of the solution. Also, don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.

While you’re not going to alter your agency’s operations primarily based on the opinion of a few individuals. But you’re going to mitigate the issue that prompted the hassle, which will prevent it from going on again. So, explain the steps to your customers that you’re going to take. It will show your customers that you value their feedback and gave it serious consideration.

Make a special case for the affected customer

Make the customer in question feel valued by handling their cases with extra care. For example, if a customer receives a damaged product, offer free shipping on their next purchase along with a heartfelt apology after the escalation is resolved. Furthermore, you could send the customer direct mailers of exclusive offers that generally people miss out on making them feel that they are special to you. 


Simply by making your customer feel valued and special, you can respond effectively to almost any type of customer complaint. Remember to keep calm and stay focused on resolving the situation as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Approach the complaint with a customer-focused mindset and you’re sure to win their loyalty for life.

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