Do you know how to handle a client complaint?

What is compliant handling?

Compliant handling defines strategies used by businesses to solve and learn from previous mistakes in order to restore dissatisfied customers’ confidence and organisational reliability.

Why is customer compliant handling important?

Dissatisfaction leads consumers to both migrate to other brands and negative referrals of the business to other potential consumers, which then negatively affects customer retention, organisational image and profitability. Therefore, one of the most critical things resulting in success of a business is handling dissatisfied consumers on a timely manner.

How to handle dissatisfied customers

Actively encouraging consumers to express dissatisfactions is a necessary task for a successful compliant handling. This initiates communication between dissatisfied consumers and the business. Creating opportunities to make a compliant and making the process easy prevents dissatisfied consumers from initiating a public actions such as posting negative things about your business on social media and sometimes even taking legal actions, it also prevents them from taking individual actions such as ending their relationship with the business or putting out negative word of mouth in the market.

Customer satisfaction survey

One of the advisable methods of handling dissatisfaction is via conducting a customer satisfaction survey immediately after provision of service or sales of products. This is a proactive technique to understand where the heart bit of the consumers lies rather than relaying merely on a reactive method of customer compliant analysis. This makes the process of making a compliant quite easy and encourages consumer to provide feedback right after sales or provision of service. Having consumers react to dissatisfaction immediately, gives the business a suitable opportunity to develop a service recovery strategy that will prevent loss of consumer and negative word of mouth.

Training your employees who communicate directly to dissatisfied consumers

Training your employees with a set of norms and communication rules to avoid conflict is essential in the compliant handling process. This helps your employees to talk to your unhappy consumers in an emphatic manner, admitting mistakes, avoid talking in a defensive manner, quickly estimate needed recovery time and offer rectification strategies in a timely manner.


Alina Filip, AF, 2013. Complaint Management. A Customer Satisfaction Learning Process, 1877-0428, Vol: 93, 271-275.

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