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How to write a response to a customer complaint

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How to write a response to a customer complaint
September 04, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 1 comment

importance on responding to consumer complaints as less than 2% of . the 10 cases of consumer complaint responses from sample studied show that more.

Every now and then you'll reach that point.

That point where you just want to tell a complaining customer where to go!

This was a letter I wrote on one of those days.  Maybe a tad on the aggressive side.... but I felt so much better afterwards.  Needless to say I didn't hear back and I didn't keep this customer.

Would I recommend writing it again....

YES but in a scaled down version with a slightly softer approach - I've put a collection together of customer response letters HERE that you can use in your own business.

Warning: Just in case I offend anyone I'm letting you know in advance there are non politically correct statements and words on this page!


(Email written to a Plumbing Customer - most likely he was an engineer - they seem to be the biggest complainers...no idea why!)

Dear Tom, 

Wow, if a professional tradesman dares to charge professional fees for his work he is called a rip off!

It seems we make easy targets to stick the boot in, and all because some tradespeople like to run real businesses and not just as a man and his tools working out of his mum’s garage.

Some tradespeople even have the nerve to employ people who work in real offices using the latest in phone systems, job dispatching, satellite vehicle tracking and computers so that our valued clients can receive REAL service at a time that’s CONVENIENT to them.

Sometimes it really feels like tradespeople are dammed if they do and damned if they don’t. Every BBQ or dinner party you attend someone has a story of the dodgy backyard or part-time tradesperson who turns up late or not at all, or that they damaged property or left a large mess to be cleaned up by the client after the job was done.

And then there’s the price!

Everyone wants to complain about how much they paid for such a simple job:

1) if it was so simple why didn’t they do the job themselves instead of calling a professional in the 1st place.

2) everything’s expensive these days, let’s face it a tank of fuel is close to $100 dollars.

3) everything is relatively simple when you know what you’re doing and have the right tools for the job, training and experience to go with it.

And then there’s the professional multiple service truck type business that may charge 2 or 3 times the price of the backyard operation and gives professional service BUT ends up being called a rip-off.

I mean afterall, how dare a real business charge more than a backyard operation, that’s outrageous I hear you say.

Has it ever occurred to anybody that it may actually cost 2 to 3 times more to operate a professional service business than a backyard operation?

No, you seem to think we are all painted with the same brush (a plumber is a plumber).

How can you possibly justify charging more than Joe Blow backyard plumber down the road?

Different types of service are a match to different types of clients.

If you want to save money on the cost of a plumber that’s fine, but don’t whinge and whine when they turn up late, make a mess of your house and/or give you a discount for paying with cash and you are not given a receipt. Oh and to add to that, don’t get upset when they don’t return your calls when the job they did a bandage fix on, becomes another problem, because guess what - you have no warranty and no proof that the tradesperson was even at your house. But on the flip side there are plenty of clients who don’t want the no frills type service and are willing to pay professional fees for a professional type service that supplies guaranteed on time service, uses boot covers and floor covers to protect your home. Your repairs are taken care of by a uniformed, polite and well trained technician and you’re given a real receipt and warranty on completion of the work.

I believe you can’t be everything to every client, but I don’t market my company to look like a backyard operation.

The Legal Ombudsman's top tips for responding to complaints. 1. Keep it simple reassure the customer that the complaints process will not go on indefinitely. It would also be legal jargon, the way that solicitors write letters, they make it so.

How to Handle Customer Complaints Via Social Media

how to write a response to a customer complaint

This popular article on how to write a good response to a client or customer complaint was updated in 2017 to provide instructional material to accompany the example from the original article.

Customer complaints are a daily reality for most businesses.

Your product or service might be top of the line. Your customer service may be best in class.

Doesn’t matter. You are still going to get complaints.

And that’s actually a good thing.

Today, we’re going to discuss why customer or client complaints can be a huge asset for you business and then show you how to harness those assets by crafting an ROI-boosting complaint response letter.

Why Customer Complaints Are Retention Gold

Customer retention is the top priority for any business wishing to achieve long-term success.

  • Repeat customers are worth up to 10 times the value of their initial purchase.
  • It’s seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer versus retaining an existing one.
  • It’s six times easier to sell to existing customers versus new customers.

So if our goal is retention, why are complaints so valuable? In short, customer complaints are a gold mine of valuable data that help us understand our customer base and improve retention.

For every customer who complains, 26 others remain silent. In other words, complaints give us insight into potentially pervasive problems that are bothering a large segment of our customer base. When customers complain, they are actively teaching you how to improve your product.

Additionally, when you successfully resolve a customer complaint, their odds of doing business with you again actually increase compared to if they had never made a complaint in the first place.

The key phrase here is “successfully resolve”, and that’s what we’ll be covering in the next section.

How to Respond to a Customer Complaint

When responding to a customer complaint, it’s important to do three specific things:

  1. Respond specifically to the issues brought up by the customer.
  2. Provide a specific apology that acknowledges any mistakes on your end.
  3. State exactly what you intend to do (or have already done) to make it right.
  4. Propose how you will improve the customer’s experience in the future.

You may have noticed a theme here, and that theme is specificity.

Customers don’t want a vague non-response that insults their intelligence. If you are going to respond to a complaint, it’s important to be very specific.

First, actually address each portion of the customer’s complaint. If the complaint came via a brief or mid-sized message, respond to each point. If it was a lengthy rant, try to address the main (or rational) points.

Next, take ownership of anything your business messed up or could have done better. If you made a legitimate error, say sorry. If your customer was confused about something most people understand, apologize that the experience wasn’t more intuitive.

Most importantly, make it right. Resolve the issue. Fix the problem. And then tell the customer EXACTLY what you did to ensure that they are happy in the end.

Finally, tell your customer about how you will their experience with your business better in the future. In some cases, this might just be a fix on your end. In other cases, it might require the customer to better understand your product. Either way, tactfully propose a solution that ensures the customer’s next experience with your business is a positive one.

To better understand these points, let’s look at a real-life example from Andrew Neitlich.

I got quite frustrated with my experience with Yahoo!’s Overture advertising service yesterday when loading up terms for a new site. I don’t know if you agree with me, but I find Google’s advertising interface much, much, much easier to work with than Yahoo!’s.

So I filled in a customer feedback form and sent in my complaint to Yahoo! Mostly I did this to vent, as I didn’t expect a response from a huge company like Yahoo!. Most companies don’t respond anymore to individual online complaints.

Yet Yahoo! responded with a terrific, personalized letter. (Had I known I’d get a response, I would have provided much more detailed feedback). I print the response here, because it is an excellent example of how to respond online to a complaint. I still like using Google much more, but at least I’m not going to cancel my Yahoo! account and stop advertising (which is where I was at yesterday). Notice how they cover in detail my issues, apologize where appropriate, explain their service, and give advice about things I can do better.

Here is their response, printed here as a template you might use for your sites or even clients:

Dear Andrew,

I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience these issues may have caused you. I have taken the liberty of resubmitting your listings that were incorrectly declined for Broken Site. According to my research, your listings that were declined for Blocked Site were also declined for Duplication of Results. This means that the keywords that you were attempting to add to your account, already existed in your account, and were seen as a duplicate of an existing listing. This means that the keywords you were hoping to add already exist in your account.

You are correct, after further review it was acknowledged that your site does not offer a product of service that Yahoo! does not to be affiliated with, and therefore the Blocked Site decline reason was an incorrect one. This decline reason did not affect the outcome of your submission.

The keywords that were declined for Insufficient Content, were declined correctly. You were attempting to bid on keywords like “business coach executive professional,” and “life and business coach,” but it is not clear if a user can actually find a business coach on your site, or if they will be referred to 3rd party for assistance with that request. If you were to offer more information on the “Locate an Executive Coach” section of your site, you could be approved for those keywords.

You may be interested to know that Yahoo! is developing a new advertiser interface that will offer business owners a more powerful advertising experience, and we plan to roll this interface out during the second half of this year.

I understand that there are several things in your account that you would like changed, and I would just like to let you know that we take advertiser feedback very seriously as we are always striving to improve our services. We welcome any additional feedback you may have.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance. Thank you for choosing Yahoo! Search Marketing!



Executive Services

Yahoo! Search Marketing


As Andrew mentioned, this is a superb example of a customer response letter from the Yahoo! Search Marketing team.

Yahoo! hit on each critical point in its response letter.

  1. Respond specifically to the issues brought up by the customer.
  2. Provide a specific apology that acknowledges any mistakes on your end
  3. State exactly what you intend to do (or have already done) to make it right
  4. Propose how you will improve the customer’s experience in the future

Use this same strategy to respond to your own customer complaints and improve customer retention.

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7+ Complaint Response Letters

how to write a response to a customer complaint



Date: ______ (Date on Which the Letter is Written)



Subject: Apology Letter in Response to Customer Complaint

Dear _________ (Sir or Madam),

I, _______________ (Your Name and Designation), on behalf of, ____________ (Name of the Company), sincerely apologize to you. We have received a notice from you that you purchased a medicine made by our company, which was expired. 

We, hereby, inform you that this was accidental and the packet of the expired medicine went along with the unexpired packets. I understand that if you would have consumed the medicine, the result could have been fatal. Therefore, we always advise our customers to, kindly, check the date of expiry before consuming any of the products.

We are agreeable to pay you the fine amount mentioned by you in your notice. However, the act being accidental, we request you to not to take the matter to the consumer court. I hope that you will accept our apology and kindly act in our favor.

Hoping to hear something positive from you.

Thanking you.

Yours truly,

_______________ (Name and Signature)

Discover how to handle customer complaints on social media. Next, let customers know when they can expect a response. For example, Pizza Hut took ownership of a mistake with an order by responding promptly and.

Why Customer Complaints Are Good For Your Business

how to write a response to a customer complaint

To: [email protected]
From: Customer Service Team – TC Insurance
Subject: Your recent policy renewal

Dear Mr Houches,

Thank you for your recent renewal of your insurance policy with Top Car Insurance.

It has been brought to our attention that at the end of your renewal call you registered a complaint and stated that you were dissatisfied with the service you had received.

We value your custom and I assure you that we take all customer feedback seriously. On behalf of the company I would like to apologise for the length of time it took for you to receive your final quote for this renewal. I am also sorry for the inconvenience caused when the discounts you received were not automatically applied.

We have taken your suggestions on board and will review our renewals process for existing customers. We understand your point that the process should not take as long for existing customers as for new customers buying a new policy.

In appreciation of the many years you have been a customer of Top Car Insurance we are happy to refund you the difference in price between your new and your previous premium, i.e. £73.20. I have also made a note on your account to ensure that your next renewals process will run more smoothly for you.

We value your feedback and will use it to improve our service.

We trust that you will find this a satisfactory response to your complaint and that this correspondence will bring this matter to a close. However, should you wish to discuss this matter further, please let us know how best to contact you.

With kind regards,

Rowena Harrod

Customer Service Team

How do you respond to a complaint that you have received? For example, if several customers complain about a specific issue, you can use.

how to write a response to a customer complaint
Written by Arashitaxe
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