Reduce customer complaints

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1. Create realistic expectations

In our consumer culture, many individuals have unrealistic expectations and, when these cannot be met, feel angry or cheated. Do not tempt customers with promises you know you can’t deliver, but offer them what you know you will work.

2. Listen and act

If so many businesses listen to their customers, why is it that their products and services still don’t do what we want? Many listening exercises by businesses are a sham. Be genuine and act on what your customers tell you to improve their satisfaction.

3. Respond to contact

Nothing annoys customers more than not receiving a response to communications. Even an acknowledgement is better than no reply and gives you time to provide a more comprehensive answer.

4. Give clear information

Always keep customers fully informed. Let them know clearly what your product is, what it does and its price. Give clear details of delivery methods and times and provide easy-to-understand instructions, if required. As well as keeping customers happy, you will reduce time-wasting follow-up calls or emails asking you simple questions.

5. Be patient with every customer

When we’re busy, it’s easy to become impatient with people, especially when in a hurry to get something else done. Give every customer your full attention – it will save you time in correcting avoidable errors and ensure your customers feel satisfied that they have your full attention.

6. Show genuine interest in customers

Often you can leave a customer feeling more satisfied than ever by sorting out problems. Listen to their concerns, even if they seem trivial, and be helpful, firm and polite. If you have promised more than you can deliver, they are unlikely ever to be satisfied. If you have offered a realistic service, it is within your power to leave them contented.

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Courtesy toolkit

See the other polite prompts in our please and thanks courtesy toolkit.


  • Stacey

    03/03/2011 at 12:33 Reply

    Great website and really useful checklists – nice to see some things we are getting right and others we can improve on!

    • robertz

      03/03/2011 at 17:06 Reply

      Thanks for your feedback, Stacey. It’s good to know the resources are useful.

  • Marc Azada

    07/09/2011 at 09:09 Reply

    This blog is really useful. Thanks for sharing this. It is important for businesses to reduce complaints and it as also important for consumers to be aware of their rights.

  • Lewis Hughes

    04/11/2011 at 15:59 Reply

    Hi there, thanks for sharing this. We have a huge eBay store and got a small group that answer calls and inquiries from customers. We can really use the tips you posted here to reduce customer complaints and negative feedback.

    • robertz

      06/11/2011 at 19:11 Reply

      Glad you’re finding it useful, Lewis

  • Lewis Hughes

    13/11/2011 at 02:25 Reply

    Thanks Robertz. These kinds of post no matter how simple they are make the most difference.

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