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Kovar Systems
Student Retention Staff Development Business Tips

How Do You Deal with Customer Complaints? Start by Thanking Them.

By Kovar Systems

Although we expect the holidays to bring a lot of joy and cheer, this season can also bring a lot of stress. Unfortunately, in the following weeks you may encounter some of this holiday stress in form of customer complaints and frustrations.

There are several ways you can handle a customer complaint (many of those are less than productive). But whatever your next step may be, the first thing you should do when receiving a complaint from a customer is to thank them!

Yes, we know... this seems counter intuitive. But even if their complaint has no basis, you still want to begin by thanking them for bringing the issue to your attention. 

Here’s why: First, it helps to disarm them from their frustrations.  When you begin on a positive note, they can relax a bit and be more receptive to what you have to say.

Secondly, you have an opportunity to make an overwhelmingly positive impression! This is a great way to practice the concept of “hands up vs. hands out,” so consider it a chance to practice with a committed partner! They may expect you to respond to them in some way, but they won't expect you to be grateful for their complaint. When you thank them for their input, you’re letting them know that you genuinely care about addressing their concern and that it matters to you. Most people want to feel heard, and in many cases they may not even really be upset with you. But once you start by listening and appreciating, rather than getting defensive, their opinion of you and your school is likely to turn positive.

After extending the olive branch of thanking them for voicing a concern, you can then proceed with addressing the issue specifically. They very well may have voiced an issue many of your other students have felt as well. The worst thing that can happen is for you to have an issue that causes students to leave, without ever knowing it’s a problem. While it’s rarely fun in the moment, addressing customer complaints is a wonderful opportunity to improve your business. So this season, if the extra holiday stress brings about some extra holiday complaints, appreciate the extra holiday gifts!


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by Kovar Systems