Customer Care Part 6: Dealing With Problems and Complaints

Customer complaints are usual and the way we deal with them is what matters the most. As customer service staffs, we need to acknowledge that things can go wrong, customers will complain about our products and/or services, different problems and complaints may rise, and different strategies we could apply to resolve issues.
The following are what customers usually complain about: unhelpful staff, not enough staff to help customers, lacking product knowledge, unclear explanations, not getting a quick email response, and being transferred many times when calling. These are a few points that we need to consider when evaluating the standard level of our customer service. From the gathered data of customer complaints, we are able to improve our customer service in order to increase the level of our customer satisfaction.
What are the do’s and don’ts when customers complain? Since the mistake may lie on our product and/or service, we should allow our customers vent their anger and listen carefully to the details of the problem. We can find a solution by apologizing, summarizing the problem, and offering a solution. What we should avoid doing are saying that it is the customer’s fault, there is nothing that can be done, and forcing the customer to accept your point of view. One phrase to remember is “Your customers are always right.”
There are many phrases we can use to respond to customers’ complaints, such as the following tip: we can use passive voice to avoid finding fault in a person.
Take a look at the examples below:
  • I am afraid that we’ve made a mistake
  • I am afraid a mistake has been made (passive)
  • It seems that there has been a mix-up with your order
  • It appears that they forgot to enclose the instructions
  • There seems to be a misunderstanding
  • It seems/appears that the order was not handled promptly enough (passive)