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Handling Disgruntled Customers

Like product returns, customer complaints—if used correctly—can be a valuable resource that you can turn to your advantage. They can give you insight into problems with your selling process. Accept each complaint for what it is—a chance to learn.

First of all, answer every complaint promptly and politely. Before answering with a solution to a customer's complaint, be sure that you understand the problem, and be as specific as possible in your replies. If the customer is frustrated and complaining, expect the tone of his or her message to be angry and confrontational. That doesn't mean you should be. Respect your frustrated customers and reply to them in an empathetic tone.

But don't stop there. If you haven't received a reply, follow up with the customer to make sure that you have addressed his or her concerns. This additional email will show the complaining customer that you're willing to come to a mutually agreeable solution to the problem. If a customer sees that you're willing to work with him or her, this will go a long way in resolving the issue.

Just remember that every complaint, no matter how illogical, should receive a reply. Your best efforts could turn a complaining customer into one of your best. Remember that good service is essential and is a promise you make to your customer. So don't make any promises you can't keep.

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