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Actionable tips & advice to improve your customer complaints handling and turning
the learnings into a competitive advantage

How To Use Complaints To Your Advantage

by Paul Evans

Customer complaints are part of every business, and one of the worst types is an unreasonable complaint from the same customer that just won’t go away. They can waste valuable time and challenge your temper…


Knowing how to deal with these types of complaints makes them less stressful and less time consuming. You can even turn them around and make good use of them.


Repeat customer complaints come from customers who:


  • Usually have a real problem, such as a product failure or payment issue.
  • Fail to present the issue in an appropriate manner.
  • Make contact several times using the same communication method or several.
  • Over exaggerate the problem and use aggressive language.
  • Request or demand unreasonable solutions.


But always remember, regardless of the way your complainant delivers their complaint, they are still a valued customer who should be listened to-no matter how annoying they get.


Discover how to handle repeat customer complaints and start using them to your advantage.

Handling repeat customer complaints:


When dealing with repeat complaints, the number one rule is to stay calm and don’t lose your cool. Stay calm and as polite as possible during the interaction, especially if there is aggression.


Angry customers can be quick to twist communication, to add further blame and fault. So clear concise explanations, delivered in a professional and helpful manner is essential.


Take particular care when responding online, double check that what’s written is appropriate and helpful and cannot be taken any other way.


For phone or in person complaints, be aware of the tone of your voice and try to stay calm. When you get angry or worked up, this will show in your voice. Even if what you say is polite, complainants can react negatively to the way you say it.


Similarly, body language should match your calm voice, watch how you are standing, avoid standing aggressively. Avoid crossing your arms or looking down at customers. Often a smile and eye contact can diffuse tempers.


Of course it’s never ok to be physically attacked, so if this occurs, call for backup or contact authorities as soon as possible.


For more information about how to help your team deal with complaints checkout our article Four Essential Practices Your Complaints Handling Team Should Employ.


Solving the problem:


Repeat custom complaints can be exhausting, but by handling them calmly and professionally you’ll quickly work out the core issue. You can then move to the corrective action phase.


A traditional complaints management process should be followed and includes:

  • Thanking the complainant for their input.
  • Finding the root causes of their problem.
  • Creating an action plan.
  • Following up with the complainant until they are satisfied.


This is your chance to turn the situation to your advantage, and perhaps create a very happy customer...


Turn complaints to your advantage:


Every complaint is an opportunity to delight your customers, increase their loyalty, and improve your company.


You can learn so much from customers who complain. They uncover valuable insights and problems about your products, systems and services. Giving your organisation the information needed to continually improve, fix root causes and implement better quality systems. 


Retail World indicates that almost 80% of customers will share a negative experience with others over a positive one. However, by showing you care and promptly and professionally solving an issue, most complaints can be turned into a positive customer experience. Where they want to tell others how wonderful you were.  


And because repeat customer complaints require more attention, you have more opportunity to build a positive relationship. You could even turn that aggressive, unreasonable customer into a promoter of your business.


Does your business struggle to handle customer complaints effectively? Complaints Pro is a cloud-based customer issue/quality assurance software that can help turn every customer complaint into an improvement opportunity. Learn more

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About Coretec

The Coretec team of complaints, quality and technology experts put together their 40+ years of expertise in customer services and quality assurance to create Complaints Pro. We are focused on client satisfaction and achieving results. We don't want you to just settle for just managing complaints. Record, Resolve and Report is not enough. Go beyond that. Use customer insight to grow your company and continue to improve.