You can’t make every customer happy. Some are difficult to please, while others may feel wronged. They may take out their frustrations on you or your employees in person or on a review site. Either way, you should try your best to resolve customer complaints.

There are many ways to deal with a customer complaint. Here are just a few options:

Respond quickly

Time is of the essence. Your customer has a problem and wants it resolved. While some complaints are made over the phone, in person, or through email, some may be posted on your Google business profile or social media accounts. You may have spent a lot of time creating a social media strategy and setting up those accounts, but you don’t check them as often as you like. You should also monitor social media to see if anyone has posted something without mentioning your handle.

An angry customer

Listen to them

Sometimes people just want to be heard. They feel wronged and want a response. If you don’t respond, that can make customers even angrier if you or your staff don’t try to provide an answer. Sometimes you can take the conversation offline and offer to call them to solve the problem, leaving that part of the conversation out of the public domain if you have to beg for their forgiveness.

Stay calm

When someone’s yelling at you, it can make your blood boil, and you may be tempted to raise your voice or take on a different tone. That’s not the way to handle the situation. Sometimes they may be frustrated or having a bad day and need to take it out on someone. Listen to what they’re saying and see if you can understand the situation. Most of all, be patient.

Thank them and provide a solution

It’s a good idea to acknowledge that they’ve brought a problem to your attention because that may make them feel appreciated. Also, give them an idea of how you’ll solve their problem. You may want to write an email or make the call yourself or have someone at a high level in your organization do so instead of a customer service representative. That shows that someone at the top has acknowledged the situation, and your business is taking their issue seriously.

5 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

Want to learn how to reduce the number of customer complaints? You can start by improving customer service. Here are five ways to do that:

1. Learn more about your customers

Some customers have specific needs and wants, but what are they? You can find out by asking them, and they might be appreciative. You can gather feedback by conducting online surveys, getting them to fill out a feedback form, or asking them in person or over the phone when they’ve finished their order or completed their service. Also, establish a service level agreement with your employees focusing on customer service to measure how they’re performing and provide them with feedback to help them improve.

2. Use customer feedback

The information you gather from customers should help you deliver better service. You can use the feedback to make changes and improvements. For example, common customer complaints may be about the number of steps it takes to reach a customer service representative on a phone menu. If that’s the case, you may want to make it the first option so they don’t have to wait too long to speak with someone.

3. Build relationships

Some customers may be infrequent, while others are regulars. Regular customers will often make up most of your sales. Therefore, you should get to know them. You can make notes about them afterwards and ask about their vacation or other details the next time you see them. The little things can make a difference.

4. Thank your customers

People like to be appreciated and this can help build loyalty. Thanking them after a transaction is a simple way to provide excellent customer service. You can also go the extra mile by offering them a loyalty discount, free samples, or a promotional item or small gift. Sometimes a hand-written thank you note or card delivered through the mail can make you stand out versus an email.

5. Follow up

Check-in with your customers to learn about their experience with your service or product. Reaching out to them can make them feel special. If you follow up after a month or two, it can remind them about your great customer service and potentially prompt them to make another purchase.

You Can’t Please Everyone, But You Need to Try

Unfortunately, there isn’t a type of commercial insurance you can purchase for angry customers. You can’t please everyone, and there may have been times when you or your employees might not have treated customers properly and angered them. But improving your customer service can help turn an angry client into a happy one and potentially turn them into a repeat customer.

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About the Author: Craig Sebastiano

Craig Sebastiano is an award-winning business writer based in Toronto. He has written for a variety of financial publications and websites. He has written about several topics, including investing, insurance, real estate, mortgages, credits cards, banking, pensions, saving for retirement, and taxes.