Saving Face: 4 Simple Tactics in Customer Complaint Handling

complaint handling

According to statistics, an estimated $41 billion is lost by companies in the US each year thanks to bad customer experiences. At the same time, a 5% upturn in customer retention can correlate to an increase in profitability of up to 75%.

From these numbers, we can see, that the old adage of the customer being king is true. Especially when it comes to complaint handling.

Of course, complaint handling can be tricky at the best of times and is definitely not most people’s favorite part about doing business. 

However, the good news is that with the right strategy is it possible to handle complaints effectively and with finesse. Read on to find out the top 4 tips that will have you dealing with customer complaints like a seasoned pro. 

1. Control Your Emotions 

The very first rule when it comes to handling complaints from customers is to control your emotions. Upset emotions are something that comes with the territory of complaints. However, you don’t have to let these spill over to you. 

Instead, take a deep breath, reign in your personal emotions, stay calm, and try to see yourself as an intermediary between the unhappy customer and the business, rather than taking the complaint personally. 

2. Don’t Tell Them They’re Wrong

The next top strategy is not to get on the defensive. This basically boils down to not telling the customer they’re wrong, and not pointing out any areas where it was their fault. At least until they have calmed down. 

The reason for this is that by the time a customer is frustrated enough to come with a complaint, refusing to hear them out will just incense them even more. 

3. Acknowledge the Problem and Get to the Bottom of It

When customers bring up a complaint, it is very important that you make them feel heard and that they realize you are keen to get to the bottom of the issue with them. 

At the same time, customer complaints can also be a valuable area of feedback.

According to research, only 1 in 25 unhappy customers will complain directly to a business owner. The other 96% will simply stop doing business with you, complain to other people, or leave dissatisfied online reviews.

So when a customer does come to you with an issue, that is your chance to find out what areas of your service might be frustrating for other customers as well. 

4. Go Beyond Resolving the Problem

You need to try to resolve the problem in a manner that the customer is happy with. At the same time, a good strategy is to aim to go above and beyond their expectations. 

This can take the form of discounts, free perks, gift cards, discount vouchers, etc. 

Lastly, always remember to say you’re sorry—in a genuine way. 

Perfect Your Complaint Handling with These Tips

Complaint handling is not an easy area of business, but doing it right isn’t impossible, and what’s more—the better you get at it, the faster your business will grow. 

If you are looking for more handy info for running your business, check out this post on the 3 small business technology trends that every retailer should consider.