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How to Handle Customer Complaints: A Detailed Guide

How to Handle Customer Complaints: A Detailed Guide

Table of Contents

Customer Complaints. When you are in business you know how important your customers are. Ultimately, they are the lifeblood of your growing empire.

Of course, every business around the globe is always working on the needs of their customers and as you.

You are always on the go not only to give discounts on your products or services but also the best possible solution to their queries, which in turn proves a positive experience for those folks.

However, you can’t expect to spread this positive experience to every customer that is in business with you. There will always be some negative impact due to objections that somehow yield at you, it’s not an ideal situation to be in, Right?

In other words, you may have to face customer complaints!

Even one dissatisfied customer will take no time to share their bad experiences with up to 15 people and on the flip side; it also takes 12 positive experiences to cover a single negative response.

These stats may look dreadful but you could be pretty much sure why customer complaints are one of the major concerns of your business that you should be resolving to turn their negative perspectives into positive ones.

But before dive into the nitty-gritty of handling them, let’s find these complaints first-

What are customer complaints?

People have their expectations from your brand and your job is simply to provide those perfectly to their hands in a timely manner possible. But when this mismatches, their objections are in high gear.

Simply put, customer complaints somehow occur in a situation where a customer’s desire and your deliverable conflict with each other.

For instance, if one of your marketing messages conveys that you make your service free almost for 6 months but after that, they will be charging at $10/month automatically from their credit cards(which usually happens with an automatic billing policy and they might not be completely aware of it). A complaint is going to come at you for sure.

In the meantime, you don’t want them to stop complaining though, Instead, you might send an email to those customers while clarifying the objection and explaining why they are going to get charged at a certain price.

These complaints are great opportunities for you to improve everything related to your business while gaining the trust of those customers.

The Importance & benefit of customer complaints

These are the supreme benefits of customer complaints that you can’t ignore-

1.Better understand your customers

What’s better than knowing the struggle your customers are having! When they share their pain points, it becomes easy for you to go deep and analyze what they actually want.

Knowing your customers – specifically their likes, dislikes, or their needs could separate a good business from a business that grapples for customers but ends up leaving their existing customers to the competitors.

No matter if their complaints are very little but you should always beef up your support to satisfy them which leads to the next point.

2. Opportunity to improve your products or services

Understanding their needs could bear fruit faster to problems, indicating where you need improvement of your product or service.

For every complaint that you receive, pay close attention to them and figure out which of them are directly related to your products or services and also repetitive.

That way you know where you need immediate improvement and how you go about developing features of your products or deliver your service in the most efficient way possible.

You don’t need any out-of-box thinking to improve or update your product and service though; these complaints are the stepping stones to make them better.

Getting negative feedback might sometimes freak you out but tackling them means taking advantage of them and giving your all to serve customers the way they always wanted – a motivational drive of your business growth.

3. Train your customer service team

Your success in resolving those complaints depends on who are in charge of those objections.

You can’t expect your manager is on the hunt for those queries. Sure, higher-ups will have eyes on to make massive business decisions. But they are not directly communicating with your customers.

That’s where your customer service team came into play. Those complaints will force them to be active and improve their response time without any delay. They will always be in the training mode to get their job done.

If needed, providing them with any documents, videos related to your products or services might clue them in an extra boost to productively solve those problems that they have to encounter on a daily basis.

4. Build a good relationship with your customers

They are coming at you with some burning questions, maybe multiple times. But you shouldn’t be yielding at them and saying anything that demotivates those folks.

You will have to solve their problems but at the same time, you have to keep a healthy relationship with them.

Taking their complaints into account lets them believe that you value their opinions which builds trust and leads to customer retention for your business.

Since they are happy to share their resolved issues with their friends, family members, or even social media networks, you will gain new businesses through those existing ones as well.

In the end who doesn’t love to get this word of mouth effect? Every business, right!

5. Up-sell and cross-sell opportunities

At some point, you will always get complaints about certain features that are only available in the premium version of your product which cost them another $100 per annum.

Just direct them to exactly that version while telling why spending a little extra could resolve their specific need (which represents the up-selling).

Or you have another service that is tied to your product and something that you believe could be helpful for that particular purpose along with your existing product, then, encourage them to go through your service with some extra bucks(yup,cross-selling is in action).

Different Types of customer complaints

Different Types of customer complaints

1. Pricing Issue

Pricing is one of the first things that you will come to hear from your customers. If your product or service seems overpriced, customers are wide open to discuss it with friends, family and with their colleagues.

Some businesses believe in giving more in less. But that way you could lose the perceived value of your product or service and hurt your overall business down the road.

Instead, make them understand why you charge the way you charge or why it’s a bang for their buck – Of course, discounts on special days is a fair game without compromising pricing throughout the whole year.

2. Not Communicating Properly

People come to you with the burning problems that they want you to solve properly. Any miscommunication at that moment can translate into unhappy customers.

You don’t want to let it happen! Making everything clear is what you can do to make them believe that you have listened to their words and are going to come up with a killer solution to those complaints.

There are a lot of tools out there – commbox is one of them with its robust features helping you communicate with those customers.

You can communicate with any channel such as live chat, sms, whatsapp, email, video through this all in one tool.

If your customers are all over the world, it may not be a viable option to communicate with only live chat (since people have different time zones than yours). Then sending them an email could speed up your process and break the barrier of on-going interaction that you somehow missed due to a different time frame.

3. Quality Issue

Your product or service has to be top-notch.

Otherwise, the chances are your customers will complain once or twice but in the long run they will move on to different solutions, typically to your competitors.

When dealing with such complaints, improvement of your business is the only answer to ensuring customer satisfaction.

Collecting those feedbacks simultaneously informs you where you are messing up and where you should look up and act according to the needs of those buyers.

4. Delays on delivery or response

A common problem of every business these days is connected to the delays linked to deliverability of their products.

People want to have their products get shipped as soon as possible. The same rings true for responding to their queries.

Delaying in anything impacts your brand’s reputation and ends up frustrating your customers who are accustomed to get everything fast from e-commerce giants like amazon.

Making everything smooth can increase the number of happy customers; ultimately it’s the main purpose of your online reputation which pushes the brand hype too.

5. Complaints on their privacy

Privacy is another big thing that customers are always wary about. In the digital world, people often share their data with companies on a daily basis. Anything that affects this data such as their email address or even bank details could potentially raise a complaint against those organizations.

So you should always be ready when you face a similar situation. Taking valuable steps to protect your customers’ wealth can make your business stand out.

And an ongoing communication with your support reps, higher ups could be your saving grace to this tough situation or anything that helps sort you out this issue.

How to handle the customer complaints In 7 easy steps

1. Listen carefully

First step to handling any complaints starts with listening. The more you listen the better you will be at sorting out issues that your audience are dealing with.

This action will let you know the followings-

What are their pain points?

How many days are they having with this mess?

Which is making them in trouble?

What are the previous experiences that they had before the actual condition?

Where would you send them based on their specific needs?

Even listening to one customer will open up a chance to provide solutions to people having the same issue without asking help from others on your team on and on.

2. Note down their objections

Carefully listening to those objections will lead to the next step- gathering their complaints in a digital pad or if you are a pen and paper person like me, then, simply writing them onto a paper will help you memorize those issues so that you can always go for other resources to get your job done.

This technique will not only help you to know whether you are getting complaints that are repetitive  or some of them are totally different  but listing them down makes you understand which will take you more time, effort to solve and which will be at ease.

3. Admit where you were wrong

Admitting where you were wrong is one of the simplest ideas that is an ice breaker for those angry customers.

Maybe some technical faults stop them from using your site for a week which raises a complaint. It’s the perfect time to apologize for this inconvenience.

Sometimes apologizing doesn’t also mean that you were totally wrong and responsible for what happened to them. It means you are concerned about their problem, which a good business usually does.

A simple sorry can go a long way to build a healthy relationship with those customers who somehow get annoyed first-time interacting with you.

4. Give them a specific solution

Everything is right until you show how you go about their problems.

Since you already started listening to them from the beginning, you can direct them to their desired solution and gather feedback if it’s working well or not.

Let’s say, one of your customers ordered a product from your company but that didn’t end up reaching at his door, his complaint on refund is always in high gear.

No question can be asked then, simply giving him a refund is an ultimate solution to aid with this drawback.

Whatever solution you provide, be sure you make them very clear so that those folks don’t hesitate to share those with anyone who comes in contact with them.

5. Make everything super-fast

The solution is what they have come for! But you can’t make them wait days after days or months after months. This will automatically annoy them and make a bad impression on your brand reputation.

Remember when I earlier discussed that people are used to getting everything fast. But it’s worth mentioning again because how fast you fix those burning problems are what could turn those negative feedback into positive ones.

Don’t get stuck if you can’t figure out the exact solution by yourself ,always go for other members of your team and come up with a solution together that is bound to make this process simpler and reduce the time from you.

6. Collect their feedback after the resolve

When you have given your best to resolve the pain of those folks, it’s time to get their feedback to know how satisfactory your remedy was to their drawbacks.

You can do this by sending them survey questions for their honest opinions or asking them to leave a comment on your social media page.

That way you show you care about them and at the same time you are collecting data that helps you understand where you are right and where you could be better, which gives assistance to further update your product or service.

7. If possible send them a reward

A reward is something that will build a strong bond between you and your customers.

They don’t expect to get something though when their issues have been solved but giving them something such as a gift card or a discount coupon makes them feel very special and delighted.

Similar to giving gift cards and discounts, you can always invite them to special events that you are going to host in the upcoming months. This charitable approach spread the goodwill among those customers who will multiply this with their friends and family too. A new business opportunity, Right!

Another best thing could be showing exclusivity. If there is something new that you are about to launch, giving  early access to the beta version only for these complainers will surely make them feel exclusive, as a ripple effect it advances loyalty among those customers.


Customer complaints are easy to solve when you have everything ready- from the support team to the best solution.

That said; give your best shot to everyone that comes for the remedy.

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