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Respond Quickly to Customer Complaints

Customer complaints can be painful, but responding quickly and kindly gives you a chance to salvage the relationship and earn a devoted patron. Even if you donít have an immediate solution for a customer, it is important to acknowledge them and offer what direction you can. We suggest taking these three steps:


  1. Let the customer know you are listening. This can be as simple as saying (or writing) ďIím sorry to hear you had problems with etc.Ē Repeating the problem back to the customer lets them know that you have been paying attention, and can be a chance to clarify exactly what went wrong if their complaint was vague or confusing.

  2. Offer suggestions to resolve their issue. If the problem is not directly related to your business, but you feel that itís an effective use of your time, you might consider searching out some other resources for them.

  3. Thank them for taking the time to give honest feedback and suggestions.


Any opportunity to engage a customer in a positive way - even if the interaction starts off with a negative reason, can build a strong lasting relationship with that customer.


On a side note, we recently ran across an article chronicling the woes of a business owner who provided excellent customer service even when a runaway complaint escalated to legal action. The result isnít what we would hope for, but it is a good read.†Click here†to check out the article.

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Marketing Bites are short actionable tips to help you market your business. Each Bite contains a marketing idea and an easy to complete action. The Marketing Bite is emailed weekly to subscribers.

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