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October 05, 2018 3 min read

As a small business owner, the odds are good that you will have at least one unhappy customer. While you probably didn’t do anything to upset your customers, someone is bound to find something to complain about and once that tiny little thing is found, you will hear all about it. Even if you have incredibly thick skin that deflects any and all complaints, have a plan so you can address customers complaints in a helpful and professional manner. Makers tend not to sell items that are flawed, so when that first complaint arrives in your inbox, you will probably be surprised. When that first complain arrives, it is a good idea not to respond immediately. But, don’t wait too long, either. The best thing you can do is figure out what you may have done wrong (since that is the only thing you can control) and address the upset customer with kindness.

Stay calm and collected

Even if the customer uses four-letter words, you should always take the high road and respond in a pleasant, neutral tone. When it comes to complaints, artists often read more into them and make them darker than they actually are. Your job is to be the professional and to develop a solution with the customer. Do not engage the customer in an angry tone, or nothing will get done.

Acknowledge mistakes and make up for them

Sometimes we make mistakes. Maybe you have been incredibly busy and you did not ship your work as soon as you promised. If you let your customer know that you made a mistake, they often understand. If this is the case, you should come up with a solution that would make the customer feel good - like upgrading a shipping option or offering a discount on a future purchase. You are solving a problem and building loyalty in a customer. Win-win for you!

Policies make negative situations go smoothly

Unhappy customers can become serious trouble, especially if they start complaining about you and your business social media. One of the best ways to avoid problems with customers is to create a policy for refunds or for complaints. With a set refund policy, upset customers cannot take advantage of you. All types of businesses have policies for refunds and returns because it helps them avoid potentially tricky situations with upset customers.

Sometimes it is better to cut your losses

There are occasional times when it is better to quickly end a relationship with an upset customer. Some people are just all too happy to complain and will never be satisfied with anything you might consider to correct the situation. Sometimes you just have to refund money and walk away from the customer. You should not have to lose valuable time dealing with this customer. So if you are unable to focus on anything else because a complaining customer is taking up your time, then you should simply close out the transaction and move on. Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding. Those rewarding moments make up for the times when complaining customers make you want to quit. What do you do to keep customers happy, even when it seems like nothing will do it? If you need anymore help take a look at our blog for more tips, ideas, and inspiration!