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How To Handle Customer Complaints: A Step-By-Step Guide to De-escalation Process

When you have a customer who has a complaint, it can be uncomfortable and challenging. You might not be able to appease them just with words but at the same time, you don’t want to make things even harder for them.

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If you are reading this, then it means that your business is equipped with the necessary tools to handle customer complaints effectively. And this is how you should approach it from now on: de-escalate the situation first and foremost, before taking any action. Here’s how you should handle customer complaints in order to de-escalate the situation quickly and comfortably.

Be Polite and Respectful

Being polite and respectful towards your customers will make them feel comfortable enough to share their feedback with you. You can do this by addressing them by their name and keeping your tone light and happy. It is important to understand that customers are sharing their problems with you, not you with them. In other words, you don’t have to agree with their grievances, but you should treat them with the same respect that you would want them to show you. Acknowledge their feelings, and show that you are trying to understand the real problem behind the complaint.

Explain The Problem Clearly

When customers complain to you, they usually don’t have a clear explanation of the problem. This is where you should clarify the situation by explaining the problem clearly. You can do this by asking the customer to explain the problem as if you were a customer who is having the same issue. This can be done in a couple of ways. - Asking Questions - Doing this will help you understand the problem, and it will also help the customer understand himself. You can ask the customer to repeat the problem. By asking questions, you will actually solve the problem, and you will also show the customer that you are genuinely trying to understand the issue. - Asking For Clarification - Sometimes, customers make mistakes during the conversations. If this is the case, explain the issue further by asking for further clarification. You should also try to be patient with the customer and make sure that he’s clearly explaining the problem.

Define Key Terms

This is a key step when it comes to handling customer complaints. You can do this by clarifying key terms used in the complaints. If the customers are complaining about the product, then you can define terms like quality, durability, durability, etc. If they are complaining about the service, then you can define terms like timing, reliability, etc.

Ask For The Customer’s Feedback

When you’ve clarified the key terms used in the complaints, then it’s time to ask for feedback from the customers. Ask them what they liked about the product or service, what didn’t work for them, and what they would like to see improved. Customer feedback can be collected in many ways, but one of the most effective ways is by asking the customers to write their feedback on a post-it note. When you ask customers to write their feedback, they will immediately realize how difficult it is to write something nice. On the other hand, asking them to draw a picture on a post-it note will make them feel much more comfortable. You can also ask customers to record their feedback on a video if you want to.

Establish a Goals and Objectives

When you’ve collected feedback from the customers, it’s time to set goals and objectives for your de-escalation process. First, set goals for the de-escalation process like how many complaints have to be handled, what needs to be done, etc. Then set objectives for de-escalation like how many complaints have to be handled, how many people have to be talked to, what needs to be done, etc. These goals and objectives can be set on a post-it note, a whiteboard, etc. Make sure that everyone working in the de-escalation process is regularly updating these goals and objectives. If a goal or an objective is missed, then make sure that it is added to the list right away.


When customers have a complaint, they usually don’t know how to handle it. This is why it is important to understand the real problem behind the complaint. Once you’ve cleared the real problem, you can focus on the other aspects of de-escalation like clarifying terms, defining key terms, asking for feedback, establishing goals and objectives, etc. These de-escalation techniques will help you handle customer complaints, and it will also help your customers de-escalate their complaints.


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