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How to handle customer complaints

May 19, 2010
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If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve experienced customer complaints. Many business owners tend to react to customer complaints with a certain amount of anxiety, but in reality, complaints are a great opportunity for your business to shine. You see, most of the time dissatisfied customers won’t even let you know that they’re unhappy with your service.

Think of the last time you experienced poor quality of products or services and never asked for refund. Why not? More than likely it was because you felt that the company you bought from was so uninterested in your feedback, that you didn’t bother wasting your time.

Think of complaints as compliments

So when someone actually takes their time to complain about unmet expectations, don’t look at them as being rude. It’s really a compliment! That’s right, a compliment. The person actually thinks that you care enough to solve the problem for them. They’ve invested additional time in contacting you. This is a great opportunity to reward them by taking care of the problem if possible. With a car detailing business, that often means offering a refund, a special price on their next detailing, or simply an apology.

Since the approach many customers take is simply to walk away without a word, wouldn’t you think that the best strategy would be to consistently follow up with them to make sure they are satisfied with your service? If they’re displeased in any way, you want to know about it. Otherwise, they may be gone before you realize it.

Ask them for complaints

A simple follow up call the day after a detailing is very important to maintaining good relations. Not only will it keep them loyal for a long time, but it’s almost guaranteed to get them telling other people about the concern you have for your customer’s satisfaction. Often times, there is an opportunity for a great testimonial if a problem is fixed promptly.

Dealing with angry clients

If a client is angry, one of the best ways to deal with the situation is to offer them a gift. A gift can come in many forms. It could be completely redoing a job or detailing their second vehicle for free. Sometimes it’s giving them something else as well to sweeten the deal, like a gift certificate.

Sometimes the only thing clients want is to be heard and understood. That’s all! So don’t avoid their grievances. Embrace them. Remember, complaints are always opportunities to turn lemons into lemonade.

Jonathan Taylor is the owner of Strategic Marketing Solutions. You can reach Taylor at

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