Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Resolving customer complaints

From: Thinking Like a Leader

Video: Resolving customer complaints

All customer complaints are opportunities, but they aren't all the same. Depending on the type of complaint, and who it's coming from, your response may need to change. I'm going to give you a simple system that you can use for three different types of customer complaints; green, yellow, and red. This is not designed to replace your company's system for handling complaints, but instead, be a helpful resource. Green complaints come from happy customers. They like working with you, but they're giving you an idea or suggestion.

Resolving customer complaints

All customer complaints are opportunities, but they aren't all the same. Depending on the type of complaint, and who it's coming from, your response may need to change. I'm going to give you a simple system that you can use for three different types of customer complaints; green, yellow, and red. This is not designed to replace your company's system for handling complaints, but instead, be a helpful resource. Green complaints come from happy customers. They like working with you, but they're giving you an idea or suggestion.

Yellow complaints are from people who are upset or unhappy about their experience with your company. The majority of the complaints that you receive are going to be in the yellow category. Red complaints are from people who are downright hostile, angry or threatening. Each type of customer complaint should be resolved differently and I'm going to give you some suggestions about ways that you can handle each of them. Let's start with the green complaint. When you get an idea or suggestion from a friendly customer, I recommend your first reaction should be gratitude.

You want to genuinely express appreciation, be sure to note the idea, and forward it on to the proper person. Then communicate to the customer that it's a great idea and you're passing it on to the appropriate person to take action. I also encourage you to look for a way to reward that customer. Hopefully, there's a policy in place to give people a perk, or reward, for sharing these great ideas, if not, you might suggest one. Now, let's talk about the yellow category where the majority of the complaints are going to be.

This is a customer who is unhappy. I suggest that first, you empathize with them. This is more than saying I understand. Listen and imagine yourself in their situation, genuinely try to understand. Thank them for bringing this to your attention and make a note of their suggestion. If appropriate, tell them that you'll pass along their feedback to make a change if possible. Then try to make it right and also give a little bit more.

Suppose there was a mistake on an invoice. You make it right by correcting the billing error. Then you give a little bit more, find a perk or a benefit to give them to thank them for bringing it to your attention, and as a friendly gesture. Your company can discuss appropriate ways to give a little bit more when it comes to yellow complaints. Now the red complaints come from people who are threatening, hostile, and angry. Perhaps they threatened to tell others bad things about your company or to sue.

When you receive a red complaint, be calm and allow them to vent their anger to you. It's possible that what they're saying is true, but it's also possible that they're not being truthful or rational. In either case, be calm and then restate to them what they said. Also, try to speak as little as possible and let the other person talk. Not only will that help defuse the situation, but it will also keep you from possibly saying something incorrect, or legally damaging to the business.

Then thank them for bringing it to your attention and be sure to document the conversation. If you're not authorized to resolve the situation then hand it off to someone who is able to make a decision. If you do have the authority to make a decision then try to respond in terms of if then. Ask, if I take care of it this way, then will you feel like we've dealt with you fairly? Getting their agreement will also help defuse the situation.

The good news is that the majority of the customer complaints that you handle won't be in the red category, but a little bit of preparation will help you feel calm and ready to deal with them when they do arise. Remember, whether the complaints are green, yellow or red, all customer complaints are opportunities. View them as such and you'll find more opportunities every day to increase your customer savvy.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Thinking Like a Leader
Thinking Like a Leader

17 video lessons · 15389 viewers

Dave Crenshaw
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Thinking Like a Leader.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.