“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates.

When it comes to resolving a customer complaint, don’t look at it as a roadblock. Look at it as pathway to growth. Addressing a customer issue quickly and efficiently can increase loyalty, improve your reputation and enhance your profits.

What are customer complaints?

A customer complaint is when your customer has shared an issue or dissatisfaction with either your product, service, or overall experience. Complaints come in all shapes and sizes, from something being broken, or simply that an expectation hasn’t been met. It’s a sign your customer cares enough to speak up about it and that they’d like something done about it.

Whilst a complaint sounds negative, it’s actually a great opportunity for you to listen, learn and improve things going forward. After all, how can you keep customers happy if you don’t know what they like and don’t like? Everything you learn is feedback that will allow you to improve on what you already offer.

Man angrily looking at the phone

How does resolving customer complaints work?

Customer experience (CX) is everything. 42% of British customers switch companies because of bad CX. So, it’s important you have the right tools in place, as this will make the difference.  

When a customer raises an issue, this is your chance to turn things around. Here’s how:

  • Firstly, listen to what they’re upset about. Ensure you don’t interrupt them or jump to any conclusions. 
  • Empathy is your superpower. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes to understand how they’re feeling. 
  • Let them know you’re sorry and get the details you need to clear up the issue.
  • Gather as much information as possible and let the customer know you’re going to find a solution.

The customer is happy knowing it’s being dealt with. Now it’s down to you and your team to figure how why it happened, so you can avoid it happening again. This makes your customer happy, improves your customer experience and makes your company better for the future. 

But how exactly do you do all this?

In this article, we’ll review four essential strategies to effectively resolve customer complaints and harness their potential for business growth.

Finger pressing button on screen showing sad face for review

Understand the heart of the matter

It all begins with active listening. You need to really pay attention to what your customer is upset about without cutting them off mid-sentence or assuming what they want or need. When the customer can sense you’re truly listening to them, they’re more likely to be receptive to ideas that will improve the situation.

It’s about gathering all of the information and asking questions that will help clear anything up you’re unsure about. This lets the customer know you care. It makes them feel respected and sets the path to resolving the issue. When you understand the heart of the matter, it will be easier to find the right solution. And that makes everyone happy.

Address concerns in a timely manner

Timing is everything. When you’re handling a complaint, you must deal with it right away. Why? Because handling the issue swiftly shows your dedication to excellent customer service. It also avoids the issue escalating into something bigger. 

Whether the complaint came in through a message, a call or even a post on social media, ensure you acknowledge the complaint straight away. When the customer sees you’re on top of things and are looking further into the issue, this will immediately ease their frustration. If you can give them a rough idea of when the issue might be resolved, this too can make a big difference. 

Women looking at the phone

Connect on a human level

Being able to show empathy can make the world of difference in resolving customer complaints. When you get to know how the customer feels, use words show you get it and you care. 

Say sorry for the inconvenience and make a promise to resolve it for them.

Learn from complaints

Each complaint you receive is an opportunity to make your business better. Why? Because if you look in to why it happened rather than just went wrong, you can dig deep into the reason behind the complaint. It’s getting to the root of the problem and essentially fixing it from the bottom up. One small complaint might identify a much larger issue and help you avoid even future problems. So, take the time to dig into things and understand why it’s happening. Resolving customer complaints fully will help you going forward, especially in understanding what your customers want from their customer service.

Visual showing a woman checking a smiling face box visual on smartphone representing a satisfied customer

How to turn challenges into opportunities

Long story short, resolving customer complaints is a stepping stone toward improvement and growth. It’s a chance to show your dedication to exceptional customer service and to build long-lasting relationships with your customers. Who knows, it could lead to extra sales… 62% of B2B customers purchased more after a positive customer service encounter.  

So, to turn your challenges into opportunities, you should:

  • Implement a system for tracking your customer complaints. This will help you identify any patterns or repeat issues.
  • Train your team in active listening, empathy and effective communication.
  • Encourage your customers to provide feedback regularly.
  • Share instances within your company of successful complaint resolution and recognise the employees who are performing brilliantly at this.

After all, a customer who’s had their issues resolved will be more likely to become a loyal advocate for your brand. So, embrace your complaints, apply these strategies and watch your business thrive.