How to Effectively Handle Customer Service Complaints

Resolving customer service complaints is one of the most challenging tasks that customer service attendants encounter on a daily basis. This proves to be difficult because it is not easy to tell when the complaints will occur, the moods of customers while presenting their issues, and whether they will have ready solutions to their problems. Therefore, it is imperative for managers and business owners to train their employees on how to effectively resolve customer complaints so as not to taint the reputation of the business. The ability of your staffs to effectively provide solutions to customers’ frustration presents a good opportunity to positively change their frustrations to happiness which will in turn build a friendly business environment.

How to Effectively Handle Customer Service Complaints

Be Positive While Responding To Customers 

It is important to be aware of the fact that customers plays a vital role in any business and the way you treat them will determine whether they are going to remain loyal to your business. Moreover, the way your employees address customers’ complaints will show the esteem value that your business holds for your customers. This therefore calls for the need to excise high level of professionalism while responding to customers’ issues irrespective of the manner in which they present their complaints. A good way that you can show this is by first acknowledging the mistake, investigate what went wrong in order to offer an explanation, apologize for the mistakes and assure them that it will never happen again in the future.

Provide Instant Response To Customer Service Complaints

The more you keep customer’s complaints pending on the list, the more they get impatient and frustrated. Always respond to customer complaints fast so as to prevent turning their patience to anger. You can improve your speed and efficiency by researching on the possible complaints that your customers are likely to raise in order to prevent being caught in the dark when they occur. In addition, investigate the way past complaints were handled and make a follow up to determine whether customers were satisfied with the solutions provided. Lastly, analyze all these and come up with instant solutions for all problems and questions. This way, you will be better placed to handle different types of customer complaints fast and efficiently whenever they arise.

Give the Customer Time to Explain 

It is advisable that you give your customers enough time to explain their problems without interrupting them so that you can fully understand their point. This is because interrupting the customer with so many questions before they have made up their points can trigger arguments that may end up to shouting. Take note of important points and when s/he is through, then you can ask questions about issues that need further clarity. This will also allow you to find out from the customer’s point of view on how s/he wants the problems resolved.

Treat All Complaints as Genuine Cases

It is very common to meet customers that will present vague complaints; however, the worst mistake that you will ever make is to give an impression that your customer’s case is not realistic. It is important to note of the fact that many customers are not going to take it lightly when you disregard their case. Failure to recognize some of the cases presented to you is likely to tempt your customers to seek for better solutions elsewhere while some will spread this news to their friends thereby ruining your business reputation. It is therefore very important to appreciate all types of complaints raised and see them as learning opportunity to improve your service delivery.

Train Your Customer Service Agents 

Whenever complaints are raised, your customer service agents are the first people that are going to be on the defense line. Ensure you provide your customer service employees with adequate training and that they are fully aware about products and services being sold so that they are well prepared to answer all kinds of questions. It is also advisable that you come up with a well-organized program that will enable your service staff to cope up with different stress conditions due to complaints raised. This knowledge should also enable them to properly store customer records so that they can easily track previous complaints and make follow ups. Lastly, train and facilitate your staff with good communication network such as phone calls, chats and mails in order to allow them to handle customer service complaints more effectively.

Five Rules to Follow

Consider following the steps below every time you have customer complaints. 

Listen – Take your time to listen keenly to customer complaints and avoid interruptive questions. This will enable you to analyze the information given and ask relevant questions that will address customer complaints.

Show empathy – At some point in your life, you must have encountered problems with particular products and services and felt disheartened. Approaching customers’ problem with this kind of attitude will enable you to take their complaints as if they are your own problem and assure them that you fully understand what they feel.

Apologize for the mistakes made – Let the customer know that you are very sorry for the mistakes and assure them that it will not happen again in the future.

React to the complaints – Provide the best solution to the complaints raised. You may as well consider finding out from them about how they want their problems resolved.

Be fast – An outstanding customer service is defined by how fast you resolve customer complaints. Take immediate actions without delay to prevent further frustrations.

The Bottom Line

It is important to give your customers a hearing ear and provide them with a lasting solution to their complaints. This will not only increase their confidence to buy from you, but also improve customers’ loyalty. Demonstrate high level of professionalism by first acknowledging customer’s complaints and apologize for the mistakes made. Ensure you respond fast to customer’s complaints to prevent further customer frustrations and don’t see customers’ complaints as point of weaknesses to criticize your business, but rather take them as a challenge to improve your products and service delivery. Last but not least, provide your staff with adequate training so that they can effectively handle customer service complaints.


Amy Clark is the Lead Author & Editor of IWantItNow Blog. Amy established the Customer Engagement blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to customer service, support and engagement.