Due to online review sites, customer service is no longer a private matter as it once was. Since a complaint posted on a website can quickly erupt into a public affair, it’s important that you deal with it quickly and effectively.  By providing quality customer service, you’ll be able to keep your current customers and attract new ones—instead of potentially ruining the reputation of your brand.

No one likes to receive negative feedback regarding their company, but it will most likely happen from time to time, even for companies that always try to prioritize their customers’ needs.  However, a good response to customer dissatisfaction might ensure that you never receive that particular complaint again, and might even improve your brand reputation. It’s important that your customer service team knows how to properly deal with these situations in a helpful and effective way.

Handle Everything Professionally
Unhappy customers might be stressful, but you need to make sure you always keep your cool. Try your best not to take the criticism personally and remain composed. Don’t blame the customer or accuse them of doing something wrong, and never resort to colorful language. Do whatever is in your power to come to a peaceful resolution.

Always Answer Negative Comments
Customer service is about addressing negative comments and making sure you’re doing everything in your power to keep your customers happy. If you ignore negative feedback, people will notice. If dissatisfied customers feel like they’re being ignored, they will only get louder and want to share their negative experience with others.  If you address something in a timely fashion, you’ll stop complaints from spiraling out of control. Once you show you’re interested in making things better for a customer, they will be more likely to work with you rather than trying to drag your brand through the mud.

Even if you don’t think you or your company did anything wrong, make sure you apologize for any sort of inconvenience. Apologizing shows that you sympathize with the customer and that you’re acknowledging their feelings. It also shows that you’re willing to accept your company’s mistakes and you’re working on making everything better. In customer service, an apology goes a long way.

Skip the Pitch
While you’re dealing with an unhappy customer, make sure you skip the sales pitch. It really isn’t the time to sell them something; they probably won’t be interested in purchasing from you in the future unless you successfully handle this situation. Focus on customer service first in order to make sure your customer is satisfied enough to do business with you again in the future. Don’t try to sell them something else during this process; they will most likely just leave angrier than when they arrived.

Listen and Improve
When you do your best to listen to a customer’s complaint, and they know you’re listening, even the most irate person will eventually calm down. Sometimes people just need to know they’ve been heard. This is also a great opportunity to improve upon the potential problems of your company. Listen to what your unhappy customer is saying and see how you can make sure the same problem doesn’t happen in the future. Proactive customer service is a great way to prevent the same issue from happening over and over again.

Occasional customer service complaints are inevitable, but you can avoid a nightmare by addressing customer dissatisfaction as soon, and as constructively, as you possibly can. As stated above—make sure you are professional, take the time to figure out how you can improve for the future, and do your best to provide a positive experience for your customers. This will help you keep your customers loyal and perhaps ensure they will work with you again. Remember, receiving a complaint is not the end of the world; in fact, it can provide valuable feedback on how you can improve your business, if you’re willing to listen.