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10 Ways to Deal With a Customer Complaint

Give me a customer complaint any day over a customer not being happy and not complaining. I can’t deal with what I don’t know.

Below are 10 ways to deal with a complaining customer and a couple of bonus ideas:

1. Don’t run from it. Deal with it immediately regardless of the situation

2. Thank the customer for reaching out to you. View what the customer is sharing as a key way for you to learn.

3. After thanking them, listen to the customer. Let them share everything and be sure they know you’re listening intently.

4. If the customer responds publically via Twitter, Facebook, etc., make sure your response is public too. Others are reading and watching, so they want to see how you handle it. (Customer complaining is a spectator sport!)

5. Don’t make commitments you can’t honor.

6. Don’t make excuses or give an answer nobody but you will understand. Be simple, be polite, and most of all, say it in a way the customer will understand and value.

7. If you don’t know, say you don’t know. You’re much better off being upfront than trying to fake your way through the process.

8. Never give a time you’ll have a response unless you know you can beat it.

9. If you don’t have the answer by the time you said you would, you need to still reach out to the customer and tell them where you’re at.

10. Never pass blame for an issue onto another person at your company. Sales leaders assume responsibility and do not throw others under the bus.

Don’t assume you know what the customer is looking for. Many times the only thing the customer is looking for is for someone to listen and care.

All the refunds, discounts, free stuff, etc., won’t mean a thing if they are not delivered with your empathy and understanding.

After you deal with the issue, follow up with the customer to ensure they’re satisfied. It’s at this point you’ll begin to know if you’ve created a customer for life.

Remember, it’s not the customer complaint that is the issue. It’s how you respond to it that can and will become THE issue if you don’t do it right.
Copyright 2016, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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2 thoughts on “10 Ways to Deal With a Customer Complaint”

  1. Mark, a great reminder of effective complaint management. and tips to do so.

    I like how you say “Don’t assume you know what the customer is looking for”.

    You also make an excellent point about delivering your responses sincerely and with empathy.

    Personally, I believe a customer who complains is one of the business’ most loyal customers.

    Why? Because of 10 customers who left the business it’s probable this is the only customer who has taken the time to complain. They have given the business the opportunity to “put it right”.

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