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How to Respond to a Complaint Letter

How to Respond to a Complaint Letter

Addressing customer complaints is one of the most vital aspect for organizations today. It is important that you set correct expectations with your customers and one of the first steps in this direction is to acknowledge a customer's complaint. In this article, we will take a look at how to respond to a customer letter.
Rahul Pandita
If you are running a business, you might have often come across complaint letters from customers. A complaint letter can be written for several reasons, some of which may not be under your control, but instead of getting incensed, you should take responsibility for the issue and work to resolve it. Most customers who write complaint letters, feel that their expectations have not been met or they have been let down by the company. It is obligatory on your part that you address their issue, and the first step in this direction is accepting your fault and apologizing to the customer. You can get in touch with a customer through a phone call or an e-mail or you can write a letter in response to the complaint letter.

Complaint letters have an ability to stir you up. It is crucial therefore, that you calm yourself down and look at the issue objectively. Letting your emotions get the better of you can make you get into an argument with the customer instead of a discussion. When a complaint letter comes under your notice, you should sit down to ascertain the reasons behind the issue. Once you have got all the necessary information, you should then look forward to contact the customer. It is important that you are in the right frame of mind before you call or start writing your response to the customer.

If the customer has mentioned in his complaint letter that he wants someone who is at the helm of affairs to call him up, you should make sure that you call him immediately after receiving the letter. Start with an appropriate salutation and verify if you are speaking to the customer. Introduce yourself and specify the capacity in which you are working with the organization. Acknowledge that you have received a complaint letter and express regret for the inconvenience that has been caused to the customer. If the customer has a genuine complain, it is important that you let the customer know the reason that caused the issue. Using statements such as, "we understand that the standards and the services that you were expecting from us have not been met" can help the customer to build a connect with you.

On the other hand, if you feel that the issue was caused because of negligence by a third party and your company has no role in this, you need to put it across to the customer in a polite way. You need to express your regret at the situation but at the same time you need to clearly communicate to the customer that you or your company is not responsible for the issue. The customer can get offended by this so it is important that you have valid reasons in your defense. Your intonation will play an important role in determining whether the customer will buy your point or feel disgusted about the whole issue. Ensure that your tone is neutral and you allow the customer to speak without any interruption.

If the customer has not left any contact number, you can respond to a complaint through a letter or an e-mail. You need to remember the points mentioned above while writing a letter or an e-mail. A look at the response to complaint letter format mentioned below will give you an idea on how to respond to your customer's complaints in an effective way.

Response Letter to a Complaint

ABC Global Services
18 Denver Street,
Val Haven, CT 95135
Tel/Fax 203-7656-3842
May 27, 2011

Mr. Adam Lamb
8423 Green Terrace Road
Asterville, WA 65435

Dear Mr. Lamb,

Thank you for your letter dated 25 May, 2011 regarding your order no. RT1876B. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience that has been caused because of an error from our side.

After receiving your letter, we investigated the issue and found out that you had specifically told the executive that you want to order an iPhone 4 in white color. He successfully filled the order but our dispatch office sent you one in black color instead.

We have already couriered you a white iPhone 4 and you will receive it by the 28th of May, 2011. We have also sent you a returns envelope so that you can return the package to us.

We value you as a customer, so we would like to offer a 5% discount on your next order with us. We have also waived off all the delivery charges associated with your order.

Looking forward to serve you in the future.

Yours sincerely,

David Radcliffe
Operations Manager
ABC Global Services

Responding to customer grievances is an essential to ensure that you retain your valued customers. Remember, "Although your customers won't love you if you give bad service, your competitors will". A small mistake can make you lose a customer for a lifetime. So, it is important that you have a look into customer complaints with utmost seriousness.