Handling Complaints

As long as there are customers or clients there will always be complaints.  Complaints can sometimes provide valuable feedback and an opportunity to improve.  We need to be appreciative of those who take their time to bring problems to our attention.

Seven ideas to increase success include:

  1. Listen.  Sometimes just having an opportunity to be heard is enough.
  1. Empathize… put yourself in their shoes.
  1. Apologize only once.  This does not necessarily mean you are accepting responsibility for the problem; merely regretting their inconvenience.
  1. There is no need to apologize for your rules or policies.
  1. Don’t attempt to justify actions or blame anyone, within or outside of your organization.
  1. Ask questions to get all the facts; make no assumptions.
  1. Mutually agree on a course of action.  Sometimes the course you identify is not satisfactory to the person complaining.