Dealing With Complaints


If you receive a written complaint what is the best way to deal with it?

  • Address the issue as soon as possible. If your customer is unhappy, further delay will only increase their irritation.
  • Contact your customer and try to arrange a meeting to discuss the issue and agree a resolution. Encourage your customer to be as specific as possible about the exact nature of the complaint and how they want you to resolve it.
  • Be as specific as possible about what you will do to address it.  All this needs to be put in writing.
  • Remain polite and professional at all times. Customers may find it awkward to raise complaints and they rely on you to make the process run smoothly.
  • Ensure they understand your complaints procedure, what happens next and the timelines involved.
  • Keep written records. Make a written note of the complaint in a complaints log, then acknowledge the complaint to your customer in writing and offer a course of action to resolve the problem. This needs to be done within 28 days of receiving the complaint.
  • A complaint log is your best way of recording all the actions around the complaint. It’s important to keep this up to date as this can serve as evidence should the matter go to the ombudsman or to court.
  • Listen to what your customer is saying. Sometimes the source of their complaint will be obvious, sometimes they may have trouble articulating exactly what they need from you and you will need to help them reach a resolution.

You can use a complaint as motivation to check on your own internal processes and procedures. If you handle a complaint well it can actually increase customer loyalty. 

The best way to avoid a complaint is to make sure employees are well trained and procedures are constantly monitored for quality.


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