How to respond to customer complaints at your business

No matter how well you run a business, customers may still complain. It’s important to be able to handle any dissatisfied customers adeptly in order to keep your business as a whole healthy.

Here are some tips on handling dissatisfied customers.

Be an active listener

This skill doesn’t come easily to many people. In many conversations, the person “listening” is really waiting for their chance to speak, and often interrupts the one talking. This can make the speaker feel that they are not being heard. To show that you are paying attention, not only listen to what the other person is saying but summarize it and repeat that back to them. Recapping what the customer said shows them you are respectful, that you were listening, and that you understand.

Ask questions

Sometimes, the way we phrase questions can make them seem like accusations, which will not go over well with an unhappy customer. Steer clear of language that puts the onus on the customer, while also avoiding words or phrases that can reflect poorly on your company. The goal of these questions should be to learn as much about the problem as possible. You’ll have the best chance of resolving the issue amicably if you don’t jump to conclusions by trying to fill in the blanks on your own.

Solve the problem in a way that satisfies the customer

Sometimes, the easiest way to find a satisfying solution is to just ask the customer. Don’t be afraid to be direct. Try asking, “What would an acceptable solution look like?” Let the customer tell you what they want. This makes them a partner in the solution and significantly increases their chances of becoming a happy, and even loyal, customer in the future.