Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - - Six Steps to Dealing with Customer Complaints -

- Six Steps to Dealing with Customer Complaints -

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

by Mike Anderson


* Business Management Services LLC *

BMS LLC provides a wide range of Business Management System Services

visit us at or

call us at (405) 593-6085


Six Steps to Dealing with Customer Complaints

At some point, everyone in business has to deal with an upset customer. The challenge is to handle the situation in a way that leaves the customer thinking you operate a great company.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but a business owner’s ability to effectively deal with customer complaints provides a great opportunity to turn dissatisfied customers into active promoters of the business. Here are some customer-oriented tips I’ve learned while working in the business coaching business:

1. Listen carefully to what the customer has to say, and let them finish.

Don't get defensive. The customer is not attacking you personally; he or she has a problem and is upset. Repeat back what you are hearing to show that you have listened.

2. Ask questions in a caring and concerned manner.

The more information you can get from the customer, the better you will understand his or her perspective. I’ve learned it’s easier to ask questions than to jump to conclusions.

3. Put yourself in their shoes.

As a business owner, your goal is to solve the problem, not argue. The customer needs to feel like you’re on his or her side and that you empathize with the situation.

4. Apologize without blaming.

When a customer senses that you are sincerely sorry, it usually diffuses the situation. Don't blame another person or department. Just say, "I'm sorry about that.”

5. Ask the customer, "What would be an acceptable solution to you?"

Whether or not the customer knows what a good solution would be, I’ve found it’s best to propose one or more solutions to alleviate his or her pain. Become a partner with the customer in solving the problem.

6. Solve the problem, or find someone who can solve it— quickly!

Research indicates that customers prefer the person they are speaking with to instantly solve their problem. When complaints are moved up the chain of command, they become more expensive to handle and only add to the customer's frustration.


There is no getting around customer complaints, regardless of your industry. However, by employing these steps and taking the time to review the issue with the customer, you can turn challenges into something constructive.

Business Management Services LLC can assist you with your customer complaints,

focusing on the elimination of the "root cause".

Call us at (405) 593-6085