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5 Customer Complaints and How to Handle Them

Customer complaints should be taken seriously, but this is especially true when access to company websites and social networks mean that a negative experience can make it all around the world before you have a chance to apologize for your mistake. In a world where the customer has immense power over your image you need to make an extra effort to stay on top of your communication channels.

The following is a list of five of the most common customer complaints along with suggestions on how best to handle them.

Complaint : “You don’t care do you?”

If a customer gets the impression that you are simply letting them rant only to recite your standard response you will aggravate the situation and make them even more upset. Body language also has a lot to do with how you come across so your staff needs to be careful not to project impatience or disrespect to a complaining customer.

Complaint : “Why do I need to repeat my problem again!”

This is a common complaint because there are many instances when a situation cannot be handled by the initial contact and must be passed on to someone higher up the chain of command. While it is perfectly acceptable to escalate a complaint to a superior, be sure to pass on the details of the situation clearly so the person does not have to repeat themselves over and over.

Complaint : “I spoke to someone else and they were no help!”

When your customer relations staff is not properly trained you run the risk of mismanaging a complaining customer by giving incorrect information or simply refusing assistance. This can be corrected by simply providing proper training on the issues and giving the staff scenarios to practice as well as opening up the floor to discuss real life situations to be used as lessons in the future.

Complaint : “This is not what I wanted!”

When a customer gets the wrong product or service because of misleading information provided by your staff you need to go the extra mile to make things right. This can be easily attended to but it can also go awfully wrong if the customer is not allowed to explain the situation but is denied an exchange or refund upfront.

Complaint : “Why does it take so long to be served in here?”

Time is of the essence so customers demand service quickly in almost every industry. Implementing time management procedures can help staff to move through process flows quickly but when a customer complains that a transaction is taking too long you should be able to explain why this is so or offer an alternative. Maybe you can have them sign documents and collect at a later date or maybe you can suggest they use your website instead of coming in to the store or place of business.

You should always do your best to satisfy the customer, but you should not spend time and resources righting wrongs that aren’t your fault in the first place. Take the time to recognize the difference and you’ll see that if you listen to the customer complaint and allow them a chance to be heard and empathized with, that simple gesture is often enough for them to move beyond the incident and give you a second chance.

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AliCanary wrote on February 9, 2015, 10:25 AM

Oh gosh, yes, I hate repeating my whole story again, although if I know I can get help from a supervisor, it's something I'm willing to do. What I REALLY can't stand is when the phone system makes you enter all your account information, and then when you get on the line with a real person, they ask for all of that AGAIN!!