Consumer Complaints

There are many types of customer complaints apart from complaining about damaged and unsatisfactory goods. Consumer complaints might be about:

  • lack of communication or rudeness from the sales representative or seller
  • delay in providing the goods or bought from the retailer or service provider
  • costs that were not initially brought to the attention of the consumer
  • liens (right to keep a client's property until he or she pays an agreed amount of money)

Handling Customer Complaints

All good managers want to hear about every complaint their customers have. only when a complaint has been expressed can the appropriate corrective action be taken. Without customer complaints management often assumes that everything is okay. It is estimated that for every customer complaint received, there at least 26 complaints that are never expressed. Futhermore, a customer with a complaint is likely to tell 20-25 other customers and potential customers about his or her complaint. Therefore as sellers and retailers you need a procedure for resolving customer complaints.

A Suggested Customer Complaint Procedure

Consider the following eight-step procedure for handling customer complaints in you organization:

  1. Provide customers with the opportunity to complain.
  2. Give customers your full and undivided attention.
  3. Listen completely
  4. Ask the key question: "What else?"
  5. Agree that a problem exists; never disagree or argue.
  6. Apologize
  7. Resolve the complaint. (Ask again: "what else?")
  8. Thank the customer for bringing the complaint to your attention.

All customer service personnel need to be trained in handling customer complaints effectively and being empowered to respond in a positive manner.