Customer Complaint Resolution

Let’s face it – no one is perfect. Sometimes you get things wrong, or things are out of your control and a customer gets down right mad. How you handle a customer complaint tells a lot about you and your commitment to customer service.

In most cases, handling a complaint is easy and won’t cost you a dime:

  1. Immediate Response. Even if you don’t have the answers right away, respond immediately to the customer. If you need to research the matter – let them know rather than keeping them waiting. Customers would rather know you are looking into it than not hearing from you while you look into it.
  2. Apologize. Even if it is not your fault, the customer is unhappy and as a business owner, you can not afford unhappy customers. You can respond with something as simple as “I am sorry that you are not happy with our product/service”
  3. Make Things Right. Ask them what you can do to make it right, or offer suggestions as to how you can make it right. I recently read an article where a company had trouble shipping books across the border so they emailed their customers a .pdf version of the book.
  4. Follow-Up. After the problem has been resolved – make sure you call your customer to follow up. If you implemented a corrective action as a result of their complaint, make sure you let them know that they played a role in that.

Use every opportunity to learn from your customers – even if you feel that their concern was minor, it was important enough for them to reach out to you. Ask yourself how many other customers may not have reached out to let you know they had a concern.

One last tip – if you have a customer database – make sure to note their concern for future reference for your other employees. A customer will remember their complaint for a long time – your employees may not. If you record it, the employee won’t be caught off guard if they bring it up down the road.