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How to handle complaints?

Updated on November 17, 2009


Recall a scenario when you were a CUSTOMER

  1. Ø details of the complaints or background
  2. Ø reaction or response of the service provider
  3. Ø your own reaction to the resolution of the complaints
  4. Ø overall comment to the experience as a customer

Anger and Its Intensities


Ø the most powerful emotion

Ø it is a feeling of displeasure or hostility because of being injured or hostility because of being injured, mistreated or opposed

Ø a strong displeasure mixed with resentment or a desire for revenge


· Rage – violent outburst of anger in which self control is lost

· Fury – a rage so violent that is almost madness

· Indignation – anger caused by action that seems unjust, immoral or insulting

· Wrath – strong indignation with a desire to punish or get revenge

Hearing the customer – physical act of taking in through your ears what is being said.

Listening – emotional act of understanding what the customer is really saying.

How to Better Hear your Customers

  1. Ø Be relevant
  2. Ø Be patient
  3. Ø Avoid fake responses
  4. Ø Take your time

3 Basic Steps to Conflict Resolution

Listen and understand what your customer is saying.

Acknowledge to your customer that you heard and understood him.

Act on what your customer is complaining about.

Six Steps in Handling Difficult Customers

  1. Ø Let customers vent
  2. Ø Avoid getting trapped in a negative filter
  3. Ø Express empathy to the customers
  4. Ø Begin active problem solving
  5. Ø Mutually agree on the solution
  6. Ø Follow up

Phrases to Avoid

  • · You don’t seem to understand.
  • · You’re wrong
  • · It is not our policy…..
  • · You must be confused
  • · We can’t, we won’t, we never

Emphatic Phrases

  • Ø I can see why you feel that way.
  • Ø I see what you mean.
  • Ø That must be very upsetting.
  • Ø I understand how frustrating this must be.
  • Ø I am sorry this has happened to you.

  • Communication ABC’s
  • · A – Asking
  • · B – Basic Listening
  • · C – Comprehension\Understanding

  • Three Factors Necessary in Handling Complaints
  • Ø Attitude – a way of acting, feeling of thinking. It is a mental disposition regarding a certain object, person or situation.
  • Ø Skill – great ability that comes from training or practicing something; expertness in something.
  • Ø Knowledge – the range of information, awareness or understanding of factors.

5 Positive Attitudes on the Job

  1. An attitude of FAITH
  2. A SERVICE attitude
  3. A TEAM attitude
  4. A SELF-IMPROVEMENT attitude

Symptoms when One is Losing Control

  • · Tight neck and shoulders
  • · Headaches
  • · Anger
  • · Raising your voice unnecessarily
  • · Strained tone of voice
  • · Grinding of teeth
  • · Cringing at the sound of the customers voice
  • · Dreading the ringing of the telephone


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    • freehans profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      Nice hub, I agree with this. Keep up the good work KABABAYAN.


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