How to Respond to Customer Complaints: 13 Response Examples

8min.

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How to Respond to Customer Complaints: 13 Response Examplesd-tags
09 January 2024
Did you know that dissatisfied customers can hurt your SEO? It’s not a joke. Bad reviews can seriously harm your Google ranking by sending negative signals. See how to respond to customer complaints, whether through email or in the reviews, by providing clear information, and solutions. Here’s your professional complaints handling guide.

8min.

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Does any of this sound familiar to you?

  • You sent out the ordered stuff on time, but your customer says the package never showed up. To make it worse, the tracking info suggests the package is nowhere to be found.
  • You shipped out brand-new, unopened products, all sealed up. But then the customer contacts you, saying some parts are missing or broken.
  • Your beauty products pass dermatologist tests to avoid skin troubles, but customers are sending pics of irritated skin after using your face cream.

No matter how hard you try and put measures in place, sometimes things might go wrong with your order or service. This could make some of your customers feel upset, sad, or worried.

One of the last things you want is to handle a flood of negative reviews from unhappy customers. These reviews can significantly harm your SEO and business goals. How so?

Bad reviews left by dissatisfied customers can hurt your business by making it less visible on search engines and lowering trust with your prospects. This can make it harder to reach your business goals.

Your job is to handle these situations by responding to a customer professionally. That means understanding their concern, treating them with respect – even if they’re not doing the same – and finding a satisfying solution for them.

How Do You Respond to a Customer Professionally?

When dealing with upset or worried customers, be friendly but don’t let them take control of the conversation. Remember, you’re the one leading. How to do so? Show that you get how they feel and apologize sincerely, even if it’s not directly your fault. Just avoid saying sorry too much.

Also, be the one who takes charge of the issue, offer a clear solution, and let your troubled customer know you’re committed to fixing whatever the problem is.

how to respond to customer complains

source: HubSpot

🌟 Here’s a helpful tip: If you’re not sure how to deal with a problem, try asking for more details about what happened before or after it occurred. For instance, if someone had an allergic reaction to your product, you could ask how they used it. Maybe they’ll share something important, like applying it in the morning before work, even though the package suggests using it only at bedtime. Asking these questions can get you more information to solve the issue better.

What Is the Best Way to Handle Customer Complaints? Examples

Below, is a short and simple list of dos and don’ts of how to respond to customer complaints to speed up the process, and keep your customers happy.

Problem / IssueHow to Respond to a Customer ProfessionallyWhat to Avoid in Responses
Example 1: Missing/damaged product“Hi [Customer’s Name], I’m sorry to hear about the issue with [product]. We’re committed to fixing this for you. Could you share more details?”Avoid: “It’s not our fault; the problem is on your end.”
Example 2: Incorrect product received“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I understand how frustrating it is to receive a damaged item. We’ll send a replacement right away.”Avoid: “It’s your fault for not handling the package properly.”
Example 3: Account access difficulties“Hello, we apologize for any inconvenience caused. We appreciate your patience. Let’s work together to find a solution. Can you provide more information?”Avoid: “You’re making a big deal out of nothing. Just deal with it.”
Example 4: Allergic reaction to beauty product“We’re sorry to hear about the reaction you experienced with our beauty product. Your safety is our priority. Could you provide more details so we can understand the issue better and assist you further?”Avoid: “Our products are safe; it must be something else causing the reaction.”
Example 5: Missing package“Hello, we’re sorry to hear your package is missing. We’ll look into this urgently. Could you please share your order details so we can track it down for you?”Avoid: “It’s not our problem if the package is missing; you should handle it yourself.”

 

Keep in mind, that the aim is not only to fix the problem right away but also to make sure the customer feels listened to, respected, and happy with the solution. Being polite during the whole conversation makes for a good customer experience and builds trust in your business.

Professional Complaints Handling Step-by-Step

In customer support, maintaining a professional and friendly tone is crucial for fostering positive interactions, especially with dissatisfied customers. One effective approach is to use a complaint response template, consisting of five elements and practical strategies. This template helps in responding to customers, addressing their concerns, calming them down, and leaving a positive association with your brand.

STEP #1: Acknowledge and Empathize
Start your response by acknowledging the customer’s issue and expressing empathy. Let them know you understand their frustration or concern.

For example:

Hi [Customer Name], thanks for reaching out. We’re sorry to hear that you’re experiencing issues with [product/service]. I can imagine how frustrating that must be. 

STEP #2: Provide Clear Information
Offer concise and relevant information to address the customer’s query or problem. Avoid using jargon and break down complex details into easy-to-understand language.

For instance:

I appreciate your patience. To resolve the issue with your account, please try logging in again after clearing your browser cache. If the problem persists, we can explore other solutions together.

STEP #3: Offer Solutions and Options
Propose practical solutions or alternatives to resolve the unhappy customer’s issue. This shows your commitment to finding a resolution.

For example:

Let’s troubleshoot this together. Could you try [specific action] and let me know if that resolves the issue? If not, we can explore other options like [alternative solution].

STEP #4: Be Proactive and Follow Up
Offer additional assistance and follow up on the resolution. This helps reassure the customer that you’re invested in their satisfaction.

For example:

I’ve implemented the changes we discussed. Could you please check if the issue is resolved on your end? If not, feel free to reply, and we’ll continue working on this until it’s fully resolved. 

or

I’ve reached out to the delivery company and filed a report for the missing package. Typically, it takes [mention the expected duration] to resolve such issues. If, within [X] days, the company is unable to deliver your order, we’ll send it to you again.

STEP #5: Express Gratitude
Conclude your response by expressing gratitude for the customer’s patience and understanding. A simple thank-you can go a long way in leaving a positive impression.

For example:

Thanks again for bringing this to our attention, [Customer Name]. We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this issue. If you have any more questions or concerns, feel free to reach out.

How to Respond to Customer Complaints When They Use Vulgar Language

Sometimes, customers might not be happy and express their frustration in a less-than-friendly manner. Still, you need to handle these situations professionally.

One way to do this is by letting customers know that using rude or disrespectful language is not okay. You can use a message like:

Example:

Our system has noticed profanity, so your message is temporarily hidden. We’re here to assist, but we ask for respectful communication. If you need more help, please respond politely. Thanks for your understanding.

This message helps keep the conversation respectful while giving frustrated customers a chance to continue seeking assistance in a more positive way. Staying calm and keeping things professional can turn a tough situation into a better experience for both you and the customer.

Why Is Complaints Handling Important and How Does It Impact SEO?

Dealing with customer complaints isn’t just about fixing problems; it’s a way to build strong connections with your customers. When you handle complaints nicely and keep things professional, it shows you care about making your customers happy.

  1. Handling complaints well help you become friends with your customers. When they see you take their concerns seriously, they’ll trust your brand more and might come back for more.
  2. Responding to complaints in a professional way shows that you want to do a great job. It makes customers feel confident that you’re serious about making things right.
  3. Fixing complaints quickly stops customers from getting too angry or dissatisfied, averting the spread of negative reviews about your brand.
  4. A good complaints process helps you keep customers coming back. Turning a problem into a positive experience can make customers stay with you.
  5. Not responding suggests they’re right, and they might tell others, even on social media, which can harm your company’s reputation a lot.

You should make every effort to prevent customers from posting negative things about your company, as this directly impacts your SEO.

Negative reviews, particularly on Google, have the potential to label your brand or company as unreliable. This could lead to a loss of authority and trustworthiness, significantly impacting your website’s ranking, pushing it down the search engine results page (SERP).

While there are many factors affecting your ranking, including seemingly unrelated ones like customer reviews, using SEO consulting services can shed light on why your website might be losing its rank.

“But they’re wrong!”

Exactly. Sometimes your angry customers are wrong, yet they send you a long email of complaint, putting the blame on your company. Luckily, there is a way to respond to such a customer professionally.

STEP #1: Make sure to read the whole complaint before you reply. This helps you understand why the customer is upset and what they want. Read it a few times, highlight important parts, and if something important is missing, mention it in your response.

how to respond to customer complains example

example of how to respond to customer complains; Google Reviews

STEP #2: Say sorry when a customer complains, even if they’re wrong. This shows you’ve listened and cared about what they’re saying. You should always apologize before suggesting a solution, as this calms the customer down and clears the air. This way they will be more likely to accept your solution.

STEP #3: Now that you’ve said sorry, it’s time to ask questions. Customers might not reveal everything in their complaints, so asking more questions helps you get the entire picture. If possible you may even mention a client who had a similar problem. Why would you do that? To show you’re good at solving problems, which is something customers appreciate.

how to respond to customer complains example 2

example on how to respond to customer complains: Yelp

STEP #4: It’s time to give a solution to the customer’s problem. If they asked for compensation and your company can do it, provide it. But if not, offer another solution. It’s important to explain in detail why you can’t meet their original demand.

STEP #5: Finish your response on a positive note after suggesting a solution. Thank the customer for sharing their concern, apologize again for any inconvenience, and express how much you value their insights. Even if the customer doesn’t admit their fault, the main goal is to make sure they are satisfied.

Here’s an example of responding to a customer whose accusations aren’t justified – this is one of the best ways to handle customer complaints:

We’ve carefully reviewed your concern, and we appreciate your patience throughout this process. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that we are unable to provide compensation in this particular instance, as it goes against our company policy. We understand this may not be the ideal resolution, and we genuinely apologize for any inconvenience.

However, to address your concern and ensure your satisfaction, we’d like to propose alternative solutions: We’re more than willing to exchange the product in question for a similar one at no extra cost. Alternatively, we can offer you store credit equivalent to the amount you originally paid. This credit can be used at any of our stores for your future purchases.

We value your business and aim to find a solution that works for you. Please let us know your preference, and we’ll proceed with the necessary steps.

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to resolving this matter to your satisfaction.

🌟 Tip: Keep a record of the complaint and your response. This helps your company learn from mistakes and avoid similar issues in the future. Higher-ups, like CEOs or presidents, may need these records down the line.

The Takeaway: How to Respond to Customer Complaints

Just remember, how you handle complaints shows how much you care about keeping customers happy and your brand well-regarded. When you respond to customer complaints professionally – no matter if through email or in the review section – you’re building relationships with them. If you do this right, you might turn an upset customer into someone who comes back! To make it work, keep these 5 takeaways in mind:

  1. Listen first, talk second. Start by understanding the customer’s problem. Read what they say carefully before responding. This helps you give a thoughtful reply.
  2. Say “sorry” in a friendly way. Begin your response with a sincere apology, even if the customer might be wrong. Being polite sets a good tone and shows you care about fixing the issue.
  3. Give real solutions, not just words. Offer practical solutions to the problem. It could be compensation, exchanging the product, or finding other ways to make things right. Providing options shows you’re serious about fixing the problem.
  4. Stay positive in your words. Keep your language positive and friendly from start to finish. A friendly tone helps calm things down and leaves the customer with a good feeling, even in tough situations.
  5. Keep records and learn. Take a screenshot of the complaint and your response, and save it in a dedicated file. This will help you create a kind of backup to learn from mistakes to avoid them in the future.

Hope this guide makes dealing with upset customers a bit easier for you. And hey, if you ever need a hand with anything related to SEO – even if it seems a bit unrelated but is messing with your rankings – just give us a shout. We’ve got a bunch of solutions, including quick SEO projects that can tackle specific issues like complaints handling.

Author
Gosia Chłopicka Marketing Delante
Author
Gosia Chłopicka

Copywriter

She has been working in marketing as a translator, copywriter, and content creator since 2015. Also a trained English teacher, she knows how to make complex ideas easy for anyone to grasp. In her spare time, she enjoys being active and captures moments at weddings and sports events through photography.

Author
Gosia Chłopicka Marketing Delante
Author
Gosia Chłopicka

Copywriter

She has been working in marketing as a translator, copywriter, and content creator since 2015. Also a trained English teacher, she knows how to make complex ideas easy for anyone to grasp. In her spare time, she enjoys being active and captures moments at weddings and sports events through photography.

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