Spin Control: How to Get in Front of a Customer Complaint

Complaints are part of business. Even the highest rated brands and companies face complaints from customers. The key to success is not in avoiding complaints, but in how you deal with customer complaints when they happen.

The first thing to do is address complaints quickly. This includes acknowledging their complaint and, when needed, offering a resolution. If you ignore the complaint, it won’t go away. Instead, the customer will become more frustrated at not being heard. Addressing the complaint quickly shows that you care about your customer’s experience.

◾ When you address the complaint, think about the root of the complaint. This will help you resolve the situation, as well as help prevent it in the future.
◾ If you understand where the complaint is coming from, you can make adjustments to the business to keep it from happening again.
◾ There may be a situation in which a customer is complaining purely out of emotion, but most complaints stem from a specific experience or problem. The root of the complaint may help point to a problem in your daily operations that needs to be addressed.

As you work with the customer to address the complaint, take ownership of the customer’s experience. Even if you are not completely at fault for the issue that led to the complaint, accept responsibility for whatever your part was in it. Don’t try to pass the blame onto someone else, and don’t blame the customer. Offer a sincere apology for what happened. This shows that you recognize you aren’t perfect, but you’re willing to listen so you can change and improve your customers’ experiences.

Finally, make sure that all team members know how to handle customer complaints. It can be a difficult part of the job, but if employees are consistent in how complaints are addressed, customers will see that even negative aspects of their experience are treated with the same care and attention as anything else. This will help you turn a negative aspect of daily business into a force to further strengthen your customer relations.