Customer Complaints

Customers are the lifeblood of your business. You can't grow your business until they are satisfied. Therefore, it is so critical to always deliver exceptional service to your customers. Because there are so many platforms for providing customer service these days, customers are becoming increasingly vocal about their interactions with various firms. They want to tell everyone whether their experience with your company was positive or negative.

Customer-centric businesses often have to suffer. That’s because no matter how well they treat their customers, a certain portion of their buyers still launch customer complaints. According to a study, 1 out of every 26 customers is unhappy with a business and wants to complain about it. Another study revealed that an unhappy customer on average tells 15 other people in their network about the awful experience they have had. This can be seriously detrimental to the reputation of the business.

If you run a business, it’s highly likely that you’ve lost a portion of your customers due to customer complaints and negative reviews. Nobody wants to buy from a brand or store that has a lot of negative feedback. It is difficult for a business to thrive if it has many unsatisfied customers who continue to share their experiences via word of mouth and social media. That’s why it is critical for every business owner to know how to handle a customer complaint properly.

There are different types of customer complaints. Some can be resolved with a simple conversation with the customer, while others necessitate a refund or a flexible return policy. Each complaint must be handled differently depending on its severity and the potential damage to your brand's image.

In this post, we will give you effective tips on how to handle a customer complaint. But in case you are confused about the concept of customer complaints, let’s define what it really is.

What is a Customer Complaint?

A customer complaint is a statement made and shared by a customer who is dissatisfied with your product or service, or with the overall experience of doing business with you. Customer complaints can now be easily posted as negative reviews on a brand's website or social media page. They may harm a company's reputation, especially if they are not addressed properly.

A business that does not respond to its customer complaints has the risk of losing its sales and revenue in the future. People don’t like to buy from brands that are bad-mouthed by their existing customers. It is essential for any business owner to keep a check on the customer complaints that they receive directly, as well as those that are randomly posted on the internet with no direct contact with the owner or their staff.

If you know how to handle a customer complaint, the damage caused by negative reviews of your business can be controlled. There are no hard and fast rules for dealing with the different types of customer complaints. But there are certain ways that can make you successful. Thus, if you are interested in learning some useful tips on how to handle a customer complaint, make sure you read this post until the end.

7 Tips on How to Handle a Customer Complaint

Here are the useful tips that will help you in handling customer complaints in the right way.

1. Stay Calm

The first and most important rule to remember when dealing with customer complaints is to keep your cool. Never lose your cool because a customer is dissatisfied with your product or service. If you believe that yelling back at a dissatisfied customer will make them leave and stop complaining, you are mistaken. If a customer's complaint is not addressed politely, they become even more irritated. Aside from requesting a refund or return, they may also spread negative reviews or comments about your company.

angry customer complaining on the phone

It might be tough to remain calm under certain situations, especially when you know you have done nothing wrong. However, avoid losing your cool in front of irritated customers for the sake of your reputation and sales. By approaching the issue rationally, you may be able to reassure the customer that their concerns are unfounded, or at the very least reach an agreement on how to resolve the issue.​​

2. Listen to the Customer

Ignoring customer complaints will not make it disappear. You must listen to what your dissatisfied customers have to say. Perhaps some of their complaints contain valid points that you could use as valuable feedback. It doesn't mean they're wrong if they don't think your brand is outstanding. Maybe your products aren't up to the standard you promised and that they expected. It is possible that your order was delivered incorrectly. It could be any of a number of things.

It is best recommended that you at least listen to a customer who is disappointed with the quality of your goods or services. Successful entrepreneurs are those who know how to handle a customer complaint. They learn from their own mistakes and digest all negative feedback productively.

3. Acknowledge the Issue

Once you've heard what your consumer has to say, make sure you acknowledge the problem if you see it. As previously stated, certain types of customer complaints can be used to enhance your services. They don’t have to be bad for your business if you know how to handle a customer complaint constructively.

Recognizing a customer's problem does not imply that you agree with them entirely. It just signifies that you understand their perspective and will work with them to find a solution. Don’t be afraid to follow up with further questions or FAQs to get a better understanding of the problem they are facing. Then follow up with them with the paraphrased version of the complaint. If you deal with all customer complaints in this considerate manner, you will notice that your customers will cease complaining about your brand.

4. Apologize and Thank Them

It is proper human etiquette to apologize to someone who is upset with you and thank them for their understanding of the situation. The same applies to your business. When you are dealing with customer complaints, you might often need to apologize to your unhappy customers for the inconvenience that was caused to them.

Swallowing your pride and saying sorry to your customers can go a long way toward building healthy and long-term customer relationships. Businesses that have humble staff who can apologize for their mistakes to the customers often score high on customer satisfaction. Apologizing does not mean that you are accepting the blame. It just means that you will go that far to resolve the conflict. It shows how much you value your customers and appreciate the business they bring in for you.

5. Ask Questions

Sometimes you might receive types of customer complaints that are not very clear. By reading the statement, you won’t be able to understand what the real problem is. Some customer complaints are quite vague and hard to comprehend. In such cases, it is best to ask questions until you fully understand the issue. If the problem is not clear to you, how will you ever be able to solve it?

frequently asked questions and their answers on a Strikingly website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

6. Make it Speedy

If you really knew how to handle a customer complaint, you would have done it fast. Customers don’t like to wait for their issues to be resolved, especially those who are already complaining. Therefore, once you have gathered the information needed to resolve the situation, take speedy action. Don’t keep your customers waiting too long with a negative perception of your brand. The more you wait, the more time they will get to spread their negative words about your business.

When you resolve customer complaints quickly, you can even expect the same customers to write positive reviews on your website. People like to work with businesses that offer fast solutions and quick responses to their queries and complaints.

Positive reviews on a Strikingly website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

7. Provide 24/7 Customer Support

To resolve customer complaints as quickly as possible, you must have a system in place that allows you to give customer care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Installing a live chat function on your website is the ideal approach to execute this in today's digital age. Your consumers are likely to send you complaints and questions at any time of day using the chat feature. You can receive all complaints immediately as well. You can take prompt corrective action as a result of this.

live chat feature on a Strikingly website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

If you think adding a live chat feature to your site is very costly, let us tell you that it’s really not. Build your website on Strikingly and upgrade to our Pro Plan that’s priced at $16 per month, billed annually.

positive reviews written by Strikingly users

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This package allows you to add this feature to your website in one click. Aside from the live chat feature, we provide our users with many tools and features to help them create a professional website and provide a pleasant browsing experience for their visitors.

Having a responsive and user-friendly website goes a long way in keeping your customers happy and reducing the number of customer complaints you receive.

We also update our features regularly to ensure that you always have access to the most up-to-date and technically advanced tools. Our goal is to make the process of running a website as simple and enjoyable as possible.