Handling customer complaints

The thumbnail version:

  • Complaints can be an opportunity
  • Complaints can also a sign that you don’t need the customer

The full version:

It’s easy to take a customer’s complaints personally, particularly if you know that there is nothing you could have done differently. The key here is to think of a customer complaint as an opportunity.

Customer complaints will happen and can be irritating when they do. However, with some restraint and by viewing a complaint as an opportunity to impress with a speedy response that solves the problem, you can turn a lemon into lemonade. If you handle it well you may end up with a more loyal customer than you had before the issue arose.

We obviously can’t satisfy you, please leave!

But, we also can’t lose sight of the fact that some people are serial complainers by nature and cannot be placated, no matter how far you bend over backwards. For these the only solution might be to “fire” them. Firing customers is a perfectly legitimate business practice. It’s your shop and you can choose with whom you want to do business according to what you want out of your business specifically, and life generally.

Hopefully you’ll never encounter anything as bad as this, but it makes the point about customers you’d wouldn’t want at any price (and it has a funny ending).