9 Steps to Handle Customer Complaints


By: Ana Margarita A. Olar| Foodfindsasia.com

There’s a song that goes “I did my best but my best isn’t good enough”. In any business, it could go the same way: there are customers who seem hard to satisfy.

Here are some professional ways when handling customer complaints:

Customer Complaints 2

Step back. When taking customer complaint, do not make any emotional reactions because this could further irritate the customer and make a simple problem go worse.

Listen attentively. Put down what you are doing or say excuse me then call for someone to continue what you are doing. This way you can give your full attention to the customer. You can also offer to go to a quiet corner away from the crowd to fully understand the customer’s complaint.  Don’t appear like you’re not interested and never argue back.

Thank the customer. Say “thank you” for bringing to a problem to their attention because you cannot solve the problem that you are not aware of.

Apologize sincerely. Show the customer that you are indeed apologetic of the situation that they’re in. And if you are used to the same complaints treat each customer as individual and listen to them well.

Never pass the customer from person to person, or worst, from office to office. As much as possible, there should be a specific person trained to handle customer complaints, personally, the worst feeling you can have after all your trouble is to be passed from person to person without the problem being resolved.

Seek for the best solution. When offering a solution to customer complaints, focus on what you can do to help, rather than what you cannot do. You must always give them a solution even if it is not exactly what they are looking for. If possible, offer them various alternatives so that they will feel important and in control of the situation.

Come up with an agreement. Let the customer choose and option that will resolve the problem to their satisfaction, in line with your business policy, of course.

Execute the agreed solution. Take quick action regarding the problem. The faster the problem is resolved, the more satisfied your customer will be.

Follow up. There are problems which cannot be solved promptly such as those technical in nature, or due to force majeure (a typhoon, a fire, or any calamity) be sure to follow up with your customers to make them feel that you are trying your best to solve the situation.

Once you have done these steps, always ask for a feedback if your customers are satisfied with your service.