How many of you reading this love taking complaints? How about criticism? Chances are, none of you do!  When you deal with, or work with the public, it is inevitable.  Often, whether we want to admit it or not, the complaints are even legit.  How do you handle complaints?

I have found being empathetic is a good start.  I try to put myself in the other person’s situation.  This gives us perspective.  I have also found not getting defensive helps.  When we get defensive it seems like we aren’t hearing the other person.  Take time to listen.  Sometimes people just need to get a bad experience off their chest and need to feel heard.

I have to be careful when addressing issues not to raise my voice. PEOPLE!!!!  I. AM. LOUD! I talk loud in a normal voice. When I get emotional (whether mad or not), I get louder.  This is something I have to work hard on. If I get emotional because my feelings or hurt, or I am upset I hurt someone else’s feelings, I have to work hard not raise my voice and come off as angry.   Know your strengths and weaknesses! 

Be sure you get all the facts when dealing with complaints.  Then, offer a solution.  It’s okay to ask for suggestions.  Sometimes it’s even helpful to ask the person complaining how they would like you to handle the situation.  When their solutions is far-fetched, be graceful in offering a counter.

The customer will NOT always be right; but, we should treat the customer with respect.  Social media is full of hilarious comical responses to complaints. Remember to find humor in your mistakes. Being able to laugh about issues with a customer will make you both feel better.   Laughter is always good for the soul-even an angry one!