How to Use Customer Concerns and Complaints to Your Advantage

When your business's customers express concerns and have complaints, don't panic. Use customer complaints to lead your business to service improvements and satisfied customers. Follow these tips:

  • Talk with customers. Listen for direct and indirect complaints, along with suggestions for how you can improve your service.

  • Encourage complaints. A complaint handled well leads to loyalty.

  • When you receive a complaint, first deal with the customer, then deal with the problem. Let the person talk, hear the full story, listen to the degree of disappointment and the level of anger, and then make amends — quickly.

    Don’t make excuses or blame others and don’t simply complete a complaint form. Resolve the issue with a refund, an alternative product, or whatever feels like a fair trade for the customer’s inconvenience.

  • Treat returned products as nonverbal forms of customer complaint. If products are coming back, either they’re faulty or your communication was unclear and the product was misrepresented.

  • Encourage customer pickiness. Businesses that win customers for life create discerning and demanding customers who have expectations so high that no other business can rise to the occasion.

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