Blog Article

How To Handle Customer Complaints?

Prerna Pundir
By Prerna Pundir | July 9, 2024 3:12 pm

Customer complaints are an unavoidable part of any business, frequently indicating areas needing improvement. A customer complains when an individual's expectations are not met, leading to dissatisfaction and frustration. In this blog, we will explore common reasons behind customer complaints and provide best practices for addressing them effectively. From handling issues like unavailable products and delayed shipping to improving follow-up and response times, you'll learn how to turn complaints into opportunities for growth. By implementing these strategies and considering an AI chatbot for complaint management, you can streamline your support process and boost customer satisfaction.

Why do Customer Complain?

Customers complain primarily because their expectations are not met. Products or services that fail to deliver on advertised promises lead to disappointment and frustration. Hidden fees and undisclosed costs during transactions can make customers feel deceived, damaging their trust in the brand. Broken promises, such as unfulfilled guarantees of 24/7 support or timely deliveries, erode customer confidence. Additionally, poor customer service experiences, including unhelpful or rude interactions, can result in complaints. Most importantly, complaints often highlight underlying issues that need addressing. Research by Esteban Kolsky shows that 91% of dissatisfied customers simply leave without complaining. Therefore, businesses should view complaints as opportunities to identify and resolve problems, eventually improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Also Read: How to Use Customer Complaints to Your Advantage in Business

Best Practices for Dealing with Common Customer Complaints

Addressing customer complaints is crucial for maintaining customer loyalty and satisfaction. Here are some best practices for handling customer complaints:

  1. Be Transparent about stock availability
  2. When a customer's favorite product is out of stock, it signifies their loyalty. However, their loyalty doesn't negate the disappointment of not finding the item. To address this, be transparent about restocking timelines and send informative emails. Assure them they will be notified first once the product is available again, providing proactive customer service.

  3. Improve average response time
  4. Disrespecting your customers' time can harm your reputation. Even productive representatives may miss some conversations due to high volume. To handle complaints about long response times, use customer complaint handling software that prioritizes unassigned and unopened conversations. Assign specific conversations to operators for quick responses. An AI chatbot can help manage and simplify communication, ensuring timely and efficient responses across all channels.

  5. Improve rep-customer culture fit
  6. Not all reps and customers will get along, sometimes due to differences in personality or culture. This can lead to customers perceiving reps as uninterested or unhelpful. To handle such complaints, ensure your agents follow company protocols and work for excellent service. Investigate complaints to understand and learn from the situation, aiming to improve future interactions.

  7. Listen and Understand
  8. Always pay close attention to your customers' concerns. Their complaints arise for specific reasons, and understanding these is crucial. Research indicates that quality of service matters more to customers than quick responses. Ensure your support team maintains high standards using a comprehensive customer service knowledge base to address issues effectively.

  9. Follow-up After Purchase
  10. Imagine ordering a product and receiving only a payment confirmation, with no further updates. This lack of follow-up can lead to dissatisfaction and complaints. To resolve this, set up an automated follow-up email sequence in your CRM to keep customers informed about their order status. Use a chatbot to provide real-time updates and answer questions on your website, ensuring a smooth and reassuring customer experience.

  11. Increase Human Interaction
  12. Repetitive interactions with automated systems can be frustrating. While automation improves customer support, it must be implemented wisely. Many customers don't mind if assistance comes from a chatbot or human, as long as it's adequate. Chatbots should handle simple tasks and offer an option to transfer to a human operator for complex issues. This transfer should occur within two or three levels of automated conversation. Providing a live chat option ensures customers receive quick and personalized assistance, balancing automation with a human touch.

  13. Decrease Waiting Time
  14. Customers expect quick responses, with 75% wanting help within 5 minutes. To address complaints about long waits, first identify the cause. Busy reps or a lack of automation might be the issue. A quick fix is to implement a live chat with canned responses, allowing reps to assist multiple customers simultaneously. If delays persist, consider hiring more staff. Always apologize for any wait and reassure customers that their issue is being resolved quickly.

  15. Avoid Constant transfers
  16. Constant transfers occur when customers are repeatedly passed from one operator to another, either on the phone or online. This process frustrates customers, especially when they must repeat their issue multiple times. To address this, review the conversation flow to identify unnecessary transfers and improve support organization. Inform customers if a transfer is necessary and assure them they won't need to repeat their issue. Ticketing systems ensure smooth transfers, allowing new operators to see the entire conversation history, improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.

  17. Timely Shipping
  18. Customers expect timely deliveries, especially for items they eagerly anticipate. Shipment delays can lead to negative feedback if customers are not informed promptly. To minimize complaints, notify customers immediately if a delay occurs. If complaints arise, apologize, explain the situation, and offer compensation. Transparency and proactive communication can maintain customer trust and satisfaction.

  19. Short Resolution Time
  20. Research shows that 78% of online customers want their issues resolved after the first interaction. Delays can lead to complaints about long resolution times. To address this, prioritize customer service by automating repetitive tasks using chatbots. This allows your support team to focus on complex issues, ensuring quicker and more efficient resolutions. Chatbots can handle simple tasks like checking order statuses and answering common questions.

  21. Social Media Presence
  22. Customers often reach out via social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, expecting quick responses. Ignoring these channels can lead to missed opportunities and complaints. To manage social media interactions effectively, use a multichannel tool that integrates email, website live chat, and Messenger live chat in one panel. Deploying an omnichannel chatbot ensures timely responses across all platforms, improving customer satisfaction and simplifying communication.


Customer complaints highlight areas for improvement and offer valuable insights for improving service quality. By understanding common causes of complaints, such as unavailable products, delayed responses, and poor follow-up, businesses can implement best practices to address these issues effectively. Making use of tools like AI chatbots, automated follow-up systems, and multichannel communication platforms ensures timely and efficient customer support. Treating complaints as growth opportunities can significantly boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. Adopting these strategies will not only resolve current issues but also prevent future complaints, creating a more positive customer experience.

Related Articles