Handling customer complaints | Small Business Development Corporation (2023)

At some stage your business is likely to receive a customer complaint. Dealing with it in a positive and constructive manner will help to keep your customers.

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In general customers who are unhappy with your product or service will not complain to you – but they will complain to others and take their business elsewhere. Managing customer complaints and resolving them quickly will result in improved business processes and repeat business.

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Complaints handling policy

Develop a complaints handling policy. It should include reassuring customers that you value their feedback and you are committed to resolving their issues in a fair, timely and efficient manner.

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It should also:

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  • explain how customers can make a formal complaint
  • identify the steps you will take in discussing, addressing and resolving complaints
  • indicate some of the solutions you offer to resolve complaints
  • inform customers about your commitment to continuous improvement

Complaints handling procedure

Once you have developed a policy you can create a procedure for handling complaints. A procedure will ensure complaints are dealt with the same way, every time. The procedure should be easy to understand and follow by all your staff.

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Your procedure could include the following steps.

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How to answer the question how to handle customer complaints? ›

How to Respond to Customer Complaints
  1. Listen to or read the customer's complaint.
  2. Take a moment to process the criticism.
  3. Determine what action you'll take to address the problem.
  4. Thank the customer for their feedback.
  5. Apologize and reiterate your understanding of the issue.
Jan 5, 2023

What is the best way to handle customer complaints explain your answer with examples? ›

Your procedure could include the following steps.
  • Listen to the complaint. Thank the customer for bringing the matter to your attention. ...
  • Record details of the complaint. ...
  • Get all the facts. ...
  • Discuss options for fixing the problem. ...
  • Act quickly. ...
  • Keep your promises. ...
  • Follow up.

How do you handle an angry customer? ›

Here are some effective ways to deal with angry customers:
  1. Stay calm. ...
  2. Shift your mindset. ...
  3. Acknowledge their distress. ...
  4. Introduce yourself. ...
  5. Learn about the person you are talking to. ...
  6. Listen. ...
  7. Repeat their concerns back to the customer. ...
  8. Sympathize, empathize and apologize.
Feb 3, 2023

What are some complaint skills to solve complaints? ›

Handling Customer Complaints
  • Actively listen and makes notes. ...
  • Acknowledge the customer's concerns and thank them. ...
  • Apologise for the impact or the inconvenience caused. ...
  • Ask questions and summarise your understanding. ...
  • Agree and explain the actions you will take as a result of their complaint. ...
  • Ask for feedback on the next steps.

What are three key things to remember in handling customer complaints? ›

10 Tips For Dealing With Customer Complaints
  • #1: Put Your Emotions Aside. ...
  • #2: Avoid Challenging Their Complaint. ...
  • #3: Thank Your Customer. ...
  • #4: Acknowledge What They Say. ...
  • #5: Offer Support. ...
  • #6: Be Flexible. ...
  • #7: Make Sure Your Customers Hear What You Are Saying. ...
  • #8: Offer an Apology - With Gratitude Attached.
Jan 8, 2015

What is the 4 step method to handling customer complaints? ›

4 steps to handling a customer complaint
  • Identify the problem. The first thing to do in the case of a complaint is identify the problem. ...
  • Rectify the problem. ...
  • Follow up on the problem. ...
  • Learn from the problem.
Jan 17, 2020

How do you respond to customer complaints in a restaurant example? ›

You might write: “I'm so sorry; poor service is inexcusable. Would you mind emailing [manager@email.com] and letting us know what happened?” Another way to say it is “Thank you for the feedback. We'll discuss this with our staff ASAP and hope you'll give us a second chance soon.”


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