6 Steps For Dealing With a
You're having a wonderful day,
everything's going well, until suddenly -
oh lord, a customer has just slipped on
some milk. The man in a wheelchair can't
get into the hotel and is riled.
You can hear someone yelling because
they have been left on hold for too long,
and what's this? Your till has run out of
notes and the customer won't accept
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Thankfully, dealing with complaints is
only a small part in the lively and
energetic job of Customer Service. But
when they come, a complaint can hit you
pretty hard, so always make you take
these 5 steps to diffuse the situation
You see there's listening, and there's
LISTENING. It's easy to just let the
complaints trickle into your ears, but
really taking it on board takes a whole lot
more. Stand in your customer's shoes
and understand where they are coming
from. Nod your head and try not to
interrupt or answer back, at least at first.
Letting your customer see you are
sensitive to their concerns can almost
immediately smooth the situation.
After the initial confrontation, it's good to
ask one or two questions about their
situation, primarily to clarify what the
exact problem is so you can get it sorted
ASAP. Asking questions and showing
your understanding is also another good
way to show you are sympathetic to your
This should be the pivotal moment in
your confrontation. Whether the situation
has been diffused or not, you need to
make sure to crowbar an apology in
there - and not just for the sake of it
either. It can be easy to say sorry
without meaning it, or to forgo it
altogether and blame it on another
The thing you need to remember though
is that YOU are a representative of the
company, meaning that any problem
with the company is also your problem.
Put yourself into your customer's shoes
and show them you are genuinely sorry.
Accept the complaint....
Working in a team alongside the general
public does tend to foster an 'us or them'
atmosphere, which can lead to you
taking personal offence at a customer's
complaint, and even outright
disregarding it. It is important that you
never let this kind of hostility enter your
Customer Service and that you remain
focused and attentive at all times.
...or don't accept (occasionally)
Okay, admittedly there will be times when
your customer is making a mountain out of
a molehill or simply being unreasonable. At
these times though you should never lose
your head - stay calm, collected and
Explain the situation carefully, but never be
led into an argument. By not blowing your
top, your'e not only the bigger person, but
you are proving the strength of your
Customer Service skills in adverse
Solve the problem
...and do it yourself if you can. Just
telling your customer "yeah, I'll get Gav
to look at it later" isn't going to cut it.
Show your customer you respect their
input by either sorting out the problem
yourself straight-away, or fetching
someone who can. Not only will the flaw
in your business be mended, but also
your customer will appreciate you taking
their concern seriously.
Customer service is essentially a simple
process of putting yourself in the
customers shoes and working with them
to solve any issues they have. It isn't
rocket science, but getting it wrong can
cause serious problems for you and your
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