Countering Customer Complaints

It is a proven fact that people act differently on the internet than they do face to face.  They get a bit more aggressive then they would if they were standing in front of you.  People expect more out of internet businesses, which is good.  It holds businesses to higher customer service standards. But similar to cyber bullying, some customers will say some mean things about your business – sometimes whether you deserve it or not.  You have to keep in mind that people on the internet are more likely to post a negative comment than a positive one.  So when that happens, here are a few pointers to remember:

  • It’s always your fault.  Always connect with empathy.  Let the customer know that you can identify with how they feel.  You have to connect as a human, and not a company.  And the old adage that “the customer is always right” can go a long way in turning a bad comment into a good one.
  • Take the high road.  No matter what, an all out debate with the customer cannot end well.  A lot of times, the customer may be wrong, but pointing out that fact does not help your case.  People will see only those negative comments, not the lengths you go to in order to remedy the situation.
  • Apologize publicly, solve it privately.  Apologize to your customer publicly, letting everyone know that you are taking care of the situation.  Then contact the complainant privately to discuss and solve the situation.  Once the situation is resolved, the customer can then tell others that you stepped up and solved the problem.
  • Keep it under control.  It’s important to monitor your web site and blog comments for negative remarks in order to squelch any “mob mentality” that prompts others to post negative comments if when they were not involved in a situation.  Stay in contact with the original poster, and allow other to see that you are on top of the situation and seek to resolve it.

If you have ever had to resolve some customer complaints on your web or blog site, please share your experiences here.