Complaint Department, Please Take A Number

complaintsjpgNo matter how good we are, no matter how much effort and energy we put into our Customer Service, we will all get Customer complaints from time to time.  Face it, they are a fact of life.

Unless you are getting them non-stop, we should instead embrace them as an opportunity to improve.  We could spend lots of time on dealing with complaints (and hey! maybe we will), however, for the weekend, I thought I would share just three suggestions for dealing with complaints.

1 – Stay calm, it’s not personal.  The Customer wants to give you money for a product or service. Something has happened which upset them and they want you to fix it. If you handle it right, they will continue to be your Customer and continue to give you money.  That’s a good thing, right?

2 – Listen to them.  Don’t talk, just listen.  They want to tell you what happened, so let them.  As tempting as it might be to leap to conclusions or to dive in and “fix the issue”, don’t do it!  Just focus on them and listen to what they have to say.  If they are really upset, they need this time to vent.

3 – Apologize.  Let them know that you are sorry this happened.  Even if your product is performing as it is supposed to, or even if an employee did nothing wrong, you are still sorry that they had a bad experience from their perception, aren’t you? It does not cost anything to apologize, but it goes a long way.  Be sincere. Say you are sorry.

OK, I know that my comment box will probably overflow with suggestion, comments and, yes, even some complaints that I did not address all of the steps for dealing with complaints, so perhaps we’ll have to have a follow-up article.  Hey, I am sorry we didn’t cover everything, I’ll see what I can do next time.

See, it works.

Thanks for reading,



2 responses to “Complaint Department, Please Take A Number

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for the article. I think it is very very important to monitor the customers’ reviews on a daily basis.

    The questions I ask myself. What can a company do with the old reviews (for example 2 months ago-1 year ago). If it is too late to solve the problem but the review still apprears and is visible online.

    And then, a company can have sooo many reviews… is it possible to monitor and follow everything?



  2. Great post! Short and sweet.

    I would only add one thing. Complaints should be viewed as a gift from your clients.

    If they take the time to complain, it’s because they value the relationship enough to want to help you improve. Otherwise, they would simply leave.


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