Handle Customer Complaints Like a Pro: The Complete Guide

In the words of Philip Kotler, The best advertising occurs naturally by satisfied customers.

Handling customer complaints may seem frustrating, but these complaints can serve as a goldmine opportunity for companies if leveraged right. 

A satisfied customer combined with an efficient customer service system forms every viral, word of mouth, marketing campaign.

With a few tips, tricks, and tools, your business, too, can make its way to fulfilling customer expectations and long-term customer retention.

This article is an attempt to familiarize you with why you must never ignore customer complaints, how a customer complaint is actually an invaluable resource and 10 ways how your business can handle customer complaints like a pro.


Why Should You Not Ignore Customer Complaints?

Why Should You Not Ignore Customer Complaints

Terrible customer service can shatter the reputation you’ve built for your business. Here are 3 reasons why ignoring customer complaints is the worst mistake a business can make:

  1. Potential Customers Are Watching

    Suppose your customers don’t receive the most comforting answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. In that case, they can resort to calling your business out on all major social media platforms.

    Every viewer from the active 3.8 billion social media users could have been your potential customer shortly. The Internet’s power is so huge that all it takes is 1 customer’s bad review/customer complaint to make or break your business.

  2. Affects Your Reputation

    Branding is what a business does to sustain and thrive. But a brand reputation is what makes people remember about your business. It’s the core factor behind everlasting customer retention for the most successful brands you see today.

    Ignoring customer complaints can ruin the reputation you have built over the years for your business.

    You must, therefore, build your business by strongly holding the 4 pillars of good reputation, including honesty, accountability, transparency, and humility.

  3. Loss of Potential Feedback

    A customer complaint and your most unhappy customer can turn out to be the greatest source of learning. Yes, even if a customer complaint comes in the form of raging emotions.

    So you realize what you could miss out on if you ignore customer complaints?

    If you listen carefully to customer’s words, there might be a few priceless pieces of feedback that could alter the future of your company’s performance.


The Upsides of Customer Complaints

The aftermath of ignoring customer complaints and having bad customer service is terrible. 

Now that you know it let’s move to how taking customer complaints in your stride and a proficient customer service department can skyrocket your business.

  1. Long-term Customer Retention

    Listening to your customers and handling customer complaints effectively will boost your customer retention rates. How?

    A study conducted by Harvard business review explains that customers turn into loyal followers and end up choosing a company’s product/service, time and again, if they have previously had a great customer experience with that company.

    So you see, you need to focus on the customer, and the customer will focus on you. It’s a long-term game based on mutual trust and respect.

  2. Brand Recognition

    A brand is not what we tell the customer; it is what the customers tell each other. As a business owner, all you need to do is build a great customer experience to have something worth sharing with their folks.

    And what better way to build a reputation and a great customer/ user experience than to listen and resolve customer complaints – quickly and effectively.

    As per research, 87% of customers turn to business with a better reputation. 

  3. Identify Improvement Areas

    There’s no better way than listening and analyzing customer complaints to understand where you currently are and where you ideally should be. 

    Take customer complaints as areas where your product/service needs improvement

    Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.

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10 Ways to Handle Customer Complaints

10 Ways to Handle Customer Complaints

Unhappy customers are more like rainbows disguised in the form of heavy rain. 

It might feel frustrating to get drenched all over with their raging words. But if you put up and deal with it the right way, they’ll show you relevant feedback through their opinions.

So here are 10 effective tactics for businesses to embrace great customer relationships and have a fruitful experience –

  1. Self-service tools

    We live in a world so advanced that a person can access anything and everything just through a click. With countless alternatives, customers don’t have the patience to wait for 76 hours for an email reply or call from customer service reps in such a busy world.

    Thus, companies must implement new systems that would resolve customer grievances quickly, without having them wait.

    One great method to resolve this issue is by adopting proactive customer service. And integrating these self-service tools with the company’s official website – 

    1. FAQ Page

    Frequently Asked Questions page is a space on your website where all the questions, queries, and concerns of customers are taken care of. This helps you cater to customers even before they reach out to you for help.

    1. Knowledge base 

    A knowledge base is published documentation (about your products/services) that typically includes answers to frequently asked questions, how-to guides, tips, and troubleshooting instructions.

    As per Forrester Research, knowledge bases are the most popular self-service solution among customers.

    But how do you build effective FAQ pages and knowledge bases? Well, we’ve got you covered.

    CloudTutorial is a trusted-by-customers brand to help you create these power tools (FAQ pages and Knowledge bases) for your business’ products and services. So that you can serve your customers – faster and better. The software has an unlimited categories option, designed specifically to organize content. And provides you with SEO-optimized FAQ pages too. Amazing, right?

  2. Mindful Listening

    When you listen (to a customer complaining) with the intent to understand and not revert, only then would you be able not to let the blazing anger of the customer affect you. 

    This is a simple tactic to deal with the frustration being thrown into your ears without letting yourself act impulsively like the customer.

    • The trick here is to stay curious about what the customer speaks – observe, analyze, and acknowledge the problem he shares from a third-person perspective. 
    • Consider yourself as an active listener and not a customer representative.
    • This way, the conversation will flow smoothly until the ideal solution is conveyed to the customer.

    That being said,  customer service agents have to listen to the same customer problem/ customer service issues 359456455 times – every single day. With that monotony,  you’re bound to be distracted and sound dull. There’s no way out of this complaint handling rut until you adopt a way that eliminates repetitive and trivial issue/query/problem calls. 

    The best way to do that is to offer detailed answers to possible customer queries, questions, and concerns on your website. This is great for customers, as they have all the needed information without reaching out to you. And even better for you, as your customer service team can now focus on more pressing problems.

    CloudTutorial is the easiest and most fun way to quickly get your customer service on track with interactive and comprehensive FAQ pages and knowledge bases.

  3. Document Customer Responses

    Each customer is an ocean filled with precious strategies.

    Most of the time, customer service complaints and challenges will have valuable customer feedback – a game-changer opportunity for your company’s product or service.

    • It could be a service or technical glitch in your product that can be rectified immediately,
    • Or some major yet unnoticed errors that the specialized team needs to look into.

    Whatever the issues are, you must document them to address them in the respective meetings, and proper improvisation measures are implemented.

  4. Use The Right Tools

    If you still haven’t automated some part of your customer service system, it’s high time you do it. Automated tools help customers resolve their issues immediately. 

    Also, people have gotten highly used to technology, and it might put them off if they don’t find auto-responding tools on your company’s website. 

    Here are 2 major auto-responding tools you need to integrate with your website –

    • Ticketing system

      Because having an organized database helps you manage, monitor, and resolve customer grievances in an orderly manner.

    • Live chat

      Live chat helps you connect with customers in real-time and solve their issues instantly.

    Apart from these, if you’re looking for an immediate, cost-effective solution to ace your customer service and offer a better experience to your website visitors, CloudTutotial is your best bet. 

    It helps you set up comprehensive FAQ pages in no time with tons of customization features that will leave you asking – what was I even doing till now? 

    With CloudTutorial, it’s time to lower your customer complaints by a significant percentage. Because when customers know where to turn to for more information or answers, they will have negligibly low reasons to get annoyed.

  5. Maintain a Grievances Checklist

    No matter how skillful you’re at being a customer representative, there’s always going to be times when you’re not at your best. Or when you can’t express yourself and lose your cool.

    At such moments, it’s always beneficial to have a customer complaints checklist. 

    • First, write down the framework of all the new topics when you interact with different types of customers.
    • After you prepare such a format, try to figure out the category on the checklist that a particular customer call falls into. 
    • And that’s it. Now you have a pre-determined framework to talk to the customer.

    Even if you didn’t satisfy the customer, you wouldn’t disappoint him either. This tactic is to maintain a positive conversation streak with all your customers.

    Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.

    Take your app and help center to the next level with The Cloud Tutorial.

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  6. Alter Your Perception

    The customer’s perception must be your reality. 

    An argument can never turn healthy unless both parties view the problem from the same perspective.

    • Every angry customer is a few words away from listening to your solution regarding their problem. 
    • All you need to do is view the problem from the customer’s perspective, politely agree with their points, and educate them with solutions in a respectable manner.
    • Rather than blandly listening to their problems, make the customer feel that they are your priority.

    This is a really simple habit of making every conversation a fruitful one. 

  7. Follow up

    This is something most businesses out there fail to implement into their company policy.

    Even if the issues are resolved, the company must follow up on the customers to see if they were happy with the resolution or need further assistance.

    • There won’t be any major needs from your customers for most cases, but showing that you care means a great deal to them.
    • Because your customer doesn’t care how good you are until they know how much you care.

    They already trust you with your product but only when they realize you care will they turn into loyal customers.

  8. Go Beyond Expectations

    In the words of Jeffrey Gitomer, customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless.

    Customer service can’t be termed excellent unless it manages to earn the customer’s trust and loyalty.

    Most customers are satisfied once you resolve their issues by maintaining a calm and friendly tone. But to instill in them the notion that the company cares is something most businesses fail to do.

    It’s not an arduous task though. You could earn their loyalty by providing simple things.

    It could be as simple –

    • Providing a coupon code
    • A discount code for their next purchase
    • Sending a customized letter
    • A well-crafted thank you mail.

    Tip and Step 1

    • The best way to go beyond expectations is not to wait for your customers to get annoyed and contact you via a phone call.
    • Rather extend enough resources that save them from getting frustrated in the first place. 

    The best way of doing that and dealing with customer complaints is to have a hub of information on your website. Including all the possible questions, concerns, and queries that your customer might have. So that the customers know where to go when an issue pops up and can instantly self-serve themselves.

    How to achieve this? Turn to the best customer service software  – CloudTutorial – and convert your website, visitors into customers

    A straightforward, easy-to-use platform to create knowledge bases and FAQ pages. 

    It comes with interactive UI, analytics and smart reports, SEO-friendly templates, organized categorization, layout customization, and much more.

  9. Redirect The Conversation Flow

    Sometimes, the customers are so frustrated that they feel the urge to yell at the customer representative before the reps even address the problem.

    It’s quite common, and a customer representative must know how to deal with it.

    • To tackle this behavior, support agents must analyze the customer’s thought pattern. 
    • Next, you must swiftly divert the customer’s attention. 
    • Do this by changing the conversation to something that might intrigue your customers for a while, without totally deviating from the purpose of the call.

    This way, the customer will calm down for a bit, while the representative can inquire, acknowledge, and probably offer the customer’s problem. 

  10. Leave the Dead Ends

    There are extremely rare cases when the customer wants to end working relationships and no longer needs your service.

    The above 9 tactics are not useful in such situations as the customer might have already made up his mind.

    • First, try your best to understand the root cause. 
    • But don’t resort to lower standards and plead the customers to stay by offering them faulty promises and incentives. 
    • Such actions will make matters worse and the customer will perceive your brand as of less value.
    • Under no circumstances must a customer representative resort to any forms of tactics that might bring harm to a company’s reputation.

    Remember, just because a customer leaves doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. But forcing them not to leave? That’s a sure-fire way to ensure they never come back for your services again.


FAQs

The 4 main pillars that define an excellent customer service system are honesty, transparency,reliability, and accountability.

The best way to handle customer complaints is to promote the methodology of self-service. Customer queries are often repetitive and trivial; there’s no need for a dedicated customer support representative to cater to these types of queries.

You can turn to a proactive customer service approach – building FAQ pages and knowledge bases. So that customers can find quicker and clearer answers without having to invest the time and effort in contacting customer service. And your customer service reps can focus on more pressing customer concerns.

Yes, it’s an integral part that performs a crucial role in the customer service system. 87% of customers prefer a company that offers proactive customer support.

And there’s no tool better than FAQ pages and knowledge bases to offer proactive customer support – catering to your customer’s concerns even before they reach out.

Create an interactive and comprehensive knowledge base and FAQ page for your company website. CloudTutorial helps you achieve exactly that.


Conclusion

Customer service is an inevitable part of any company. Even if it looks like a mundane, frustrating task from the outside, a perfectly implemented, efficient set of customer representatives can be the reason for a company’s long-lasting success.

Excellent customer service is the #1 job in any company. It is the personality of the brand and the reason why customers keep coming back. Without the customers, there is no brand nor company.

Are you looking forward to delivering the best customer service to your customers and reducing up to 80% of support tickets?

 CloudTutorial is the solution you wished you had earlier. The best and most trusted knowledge base platform helps you deliver quality customer service and makes customer complaints resolution – faster and better. The platform enables you to create a knowledge base – including articles, FAQ pages, SOP, blog posts, and all that you need to extend the most impactful service. Ready? Sign-up and start using the free version.

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