Tips When Responding to a Complaint


In our experience here at BBB, the following tips and suggestions are often used by businesses to respond to complaints in an effective and professional manner. We offer these as suggestions you may wish to consider when preparing your response.

Before Preparing the Response

1. Respond when calm, keeping emotions out of the response.

2. Look for win-win situations that will benefit all parties involved.

3. Work to find common ground with the consumer.

4. Try to see things from the consumer's perspective.

5. If a complaint has genuinely angered you, you should not respond at that time. Wait until your emotions have subsided or get another authorized person to make the necessary response.

While Composing the Response
1. Acknowledge the feelings, positions, and interests of the consumer.

2. Stick to the facts, being as detailed and accurate as possible. Include documentation supporting your position, and explaining what action was taken to resolve the issue

3. If the consumer misstates the facts in a complaint, politely correct them.

4. Be honest about mistakes, and include what the company is willing to do to resolve the issue.

5. Avoid judgmental or opinion statements about the consumer.

6. Avoid comments regarding the consumer's intentions or motives.

General Concepts to Keep in Mind
1. Respond timely. ·A timely response will often indicate to the consumer a desire on your part to resolve the issue.

2. Keep in mind that your response whether in whole or in part could end up being posted for the public to see.

3. If your response is posted for the public to see, consumers may use it to form an opinion about your company more often than judging the consumer who filed the complaint.