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How to Handle a Complaint at Work

By: Mariah Rogers
May 30, 2020 • 3 min read

Conquer Complaints

If you work a customer service centered job, your main goal is to work tirelessly to ensure customer satisfaction. Even with all this hard work from your team, complaints can still happen. Due to every customer having a variety of needs and different standards, you may have to serve an unhappy client every so often. If a complaint does arise at work, it is crucial to do your best to handle the conflict in a professional way that reflects positively on you and the company. Here is how to handle a complaint at work like a pro.

woman sitting in front of computer monitor explaining something two man and woman beside her

Listen and Understand

When a customer decides to voice a complaint, how you listen is almost more important than how you respond. Making a customer feel heard and understood will go a very long way. Be sure to allow the client to voice their concern in completion, without interrupting. This will help to validate their complaint and provide you with feedback. Taking feedback can be tough, but it is a crucial skill to master to learn and improve as an employee.

The Customer is Always Right

You’ve probably heard this phrase before when discussing customer service techniques. If a customer decides to voice a complaint, this shouldn’t bring about an argument between you and the client. Instead, make it a productive conversation where you validate their concerns and assure them you will work with the team to fix the problem at hand. This technique will work wonders when trying to counteract a poor experience by providing excellent customer service.

two men sitting at wooden table

Stay Calm

This is perhaps the most essential tip that is included in this blog. When we are faced with an angry customer, it can be hard to keep calm! It is vital to not take the customers complaint personally, and instead use it as feedback for the company’s overall operations. If you show anger, sadness, or frustration in response to a complaint, it will likely make the situation worse. Staying calm and professional will ease the client’s concern and diffuse the situation. If you find yourself in the wrong headspace to properly handle a tough situation at work, always be sure to find a supervisor or manager to take over.

Apologize and Improve

When a customer decides to voice a complaint, they are often searching for reassurance that the issue they faced will not have to be endured by other clients. When responding, be sure to apologize for the poor experience and problems faced by the customer. Next, provide them with improvement steps you plan to take to ensure change will come from their complaint. For example, if a customer is complaining about an unsanitary bathroom in the store, you could respond by saying, “I am so sorry that the bathrooms were not in a presentable state for your use. I can assure you we take sanitation very seriously, and I appreciate you coming forward to express your concern. Moving forward, I will be sure to assign an employee to do a cleaning every hour so that this does not happen again”.

How do you handle complaints at work? Tweet us and share your strategies! For more helpful content, check out our blog. 

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