The best way to deal with customer complaints is to never give the customer a reason to complain! Go to great lengths to design business practices that accommodate and surround the client with safeguards. Many complaints can be avoided by “training” your clientele, anticipating possible sources of customer dissatisfaction and briefing the client on possible inconveniences and scenerios. When you do receive a complaint, the following suggestions will usually help.
First and foremost, listen to the customer. It is seldom that a good client complains for no reason. No matter how poorly a customer may present a complaint, it will almost always have some basis. Ascertain the core of the complaint and get to the heart of the matter. Secondly, remain helpful. Do not take a complaint personally. Even if a complaint is without merit, treat the customer as you would like to be treated. Chances are that the client is already in a charged emotional state. Avoid becoming defensive. Defuse the situation by being sympathetic and listening. Assure the client that their complaint is important and that it is your policy to assist all parties to resolve problems in favor of the customer whenever possible.
Finally, follow up! Determine the merit of the complaint and document your findings. Your good relationship with the suppliers you used will come in handy now. Report back to the client with your documentation in hand and spend time explaining the situation. The remedy may be small, even non-existent, but your interest and sincere concern for your client will assist you both in getting through a difficult situation.