Customer complaints are often a sign that there’s a discrepancy between what customers expected and what was delivered. But how can you get to the bottom of the complaint and extract the useful information to improve business performance?

Firstly, if a customer comes to you with a problem, it means that they want to be heard. Even if the complaint seems small to you, it clearly has some significance to them because they are taking their time to reach out to you.

In most cases, you can diffuse anger and frustration by remaining kind and understanding. You can tell your customer straight away that you appreciate them reaching out about their concerns and that you want to understand exactly how they are feeling. Tell them you are there to help.

Asking the right questions helps you get to the root of the complaint, figure out if there’s a way to resolve the issue, and determine if the complaint contains genuinely useful feedback.

Ask questions like

What do you mean by…?

Could you provide an example?

Could you expand on that point further?

Once you have gathered all of the information you need, now is your chance to find a solution that makes everyone happy. The faster you find a reasonable solution that everyone can agree on, the happier your customer will be and the more likely they will return.

Following up a few days later to check how the customer is getting on with the solution or simply to reassure you are there if they need assistance, goes a long way.

Documenting the steps taken and forming procedures can be helpful for future complaints.

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