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6 Reasons Why Customers Complain (And How to Respond)

Bill Gates once said that your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. This means that there are a lot of opportunities that exist within the customer complaints. They tell you where the problem within your product or service exists. 

Overcoming those problems ensures that you will have more satisfied customers in the future, more revenue, and sufficient funds available to launch another product or service. 

While these are the long term benefits, handling the complaints at this very moment is more important. There are a lot of factors that may annoy your customers, but with specific tips and responses, you can satisfy them in any circumstance and ease their pain. 

After all, you do not want customers to spread negativity about their experience – therefore, immediate resolution is necessary. 

Why Do Customers Complain?  

Let us have a look at some reasons that lead to customer problems and complaints.

1. A product or service is below standards

Have you experienced ordering clothing online and got a poorly designed shirt? This has happened to a lot of customers. Customers who order food get bad quality delivered to their home. An expensive pair of shoes wear out easily within a month. This is what leads a customer to call or visit a business and complain that they have not gained value from their payment. Of course, that’s their right. 

2. Not responding to their inquiries

Customers get more agitated when they do not get timely responses to their inquiries regarding your product or service.

For example, you email an event management company seeking specific event details for which you have just registered online. Your money has been debited but it’s been over 3 business days since they shared any details with you. Because of this frustrating experience, you’re likely to call and show your anger since you’ve been waiting for your query to be answered. 

3. Poor customer service

Let’s imagine that you’ve contacted a mobile service provider company and you’re being transferred by one representative to another. This may happen because you haven’t been connected to the right persons or the person on the other end is lacking information. 

As a customer, you get irritated either due to the waiting time, frequent call transfers, or the lack of interest to help genuinely on the part of the customer service representative. 

4. Hidden charges

Yes, you booked a ticket to attend an event that says $100 in the flyer but once the money was debited, you see a 130$ deduction. The company says that the amount included certain fees or taxes. When making a purchase, customers look at the visible price, which is why companies should always display the total cost (without hiding anything). 

5. Staff behavior

Though customer representatives are trained to remain cool and calm through the conversation, there is a chance for rude behavior to arise in any staff member which can annoy customers. 

This often happens in a local shop where the salesperson is not fully trained. They do not feel happy showing you the product or service. Customers can complain about some uninterested folks in the job. 

6. Less information available at your end

It becomes very frustrating for the customer if they call to seek some information and the representative has limited knowledge on the query. In addition, the representative is also unable to transfer it to the right person because he’s new to the job and is still learning. 

Any prolonged questioning, unnecessary details, and irrelevant information may trigger your customer to complain about your services.

How to Respond to Customer Complaints

Well, it depends on the scenario and the type of complaint that you have received. But overall, you can counter almost all the customer complaints following one or a combination of tips below. 

System Automation and Call Monitoring

Technology can improve your complaint management in many ways. For example, most of your complaints revolve around certain information. In case your representative has all the records and updates mentioned in the CRM in front of them, there are fewer chances that they will transfer the call for unnecessary reasons. 

Nowadays smart Chatbots with artificial intelligence reduce the chances of human error and can almost respond to every question in a timely manner. Apply automation wherever possible. Another strategy is by switching to a Cloud-based phone system, which will help you streamline your call flow and handle your communications effectively at a lower cost. 

Keep Calm

Always keep in mind that complaints are not personal attacks. You are not being blamed for anything wrong but rather the product or service. There is always a solution to a problem and you are hired for this purpose. 

Always remember that you don’t have to get upset, aggressive, and respond rudely to a customer.  A kind and welcoming attitude can change the customer’s negative experience into a positive one as soon as he realizes that he is given importance. 

Pay Attention to the Customer’s Problem

Sometimes customer service representatives make a mistake in assuming that they understood customer problems. Even if you rightly judge the customer’s issue, be patient and let him finish his inquiry or problem. 

If you will interrupt him in the middle of the conversation, he might think you are in a hurry handling him or are less concerned. It is a good idea to always listen to the needs and problems of your customer, jot down notes, and ask some relevant questions that will help you answer their concerns better. 

With sincerity, try to guide them on what they should do further. In case you have limited information, tell them that you will get back immediately with a solution. Meanwhile, you can discuss it with the relevant person from your team. 

Train your Customer Service Representatives

Train people how to deal with your clients directly in a way that they don’t have to wait for long. This is important since most customers want information right away. Also, during the orientation process, let your customer representatives know that they cannot be rude and argumentative. 

Be Apologetic and Thankful

Emphasize to your customer representatives that the customer is always right. This doesn’t mean that they are one hundred percent right. Rather, it means making them feel valuable through your responses. 

Don’t ignore the fact that they have encountered a problem. Be apologetic and thank them for bringing the problem to your attention in the first place. Then start digging out the details in a proactive manner. 

There is nothing wrong about apologizing for what you’re not able to do. This is a gesture of kindness and concern as a business owner or customer representative. 


Customers are extremely valuable to your business, more than any asset or resource. They are the reason your business exists and makes money. An annoyed customer who is mishandled can ruin the prestige of your business and you can lose several other potential customers. 

From the above discussion, you can get an idea of why, in general, most customers complain in any business and how the chances of customer dissatisfaction can be reduced by following a few simple guidelines.