How to turn retail customer complaints to an advantage

How to turn customer complaints to an advantage

In an ideal world, no online retailer wants to receive customer complaints. Unfortunately, a few complaints from customers are the everyday reality of running an online retail business. No matter how perfectly polished your systems are, there will always be mistakes, unknown customer expectation, and therefore unhappy customers.

The good news is that when it comes to the dark cloud of customer complaints, there really is a silver lining.

Lets look at how you can turn those customer complaints into something much more positive.

Being responsive to online complaints shows that you are a responsible business owner

If an unhappy customer has left a complaint about your business or product on your own website or an independent review site, the worst thing that you can do is ignore it.

Show that you are a supportive, responsive online retailer who cares about your customers and wants to rectify any errors that you may have made, by replying to the complaint in timely manner.

It’s important to sympathise with the customer’s experience and show that you understand their frustrations. Be human…

This way, when potential future customers see the negative review, they will also notice your response and see that if they have any problems, they can be confident your online store will be willing to help and not just ignore them.

Finding solutions can help to show customers that you are willing to go the extra mile

When you are responding to a customer complaint, offer ways to resolve the customer’s issues in a way that is helpful to the customer. Think outside the box too rather than the default of just offering a refund, for example why not add a discount to the customers next order to show you really sympathise with their issue.

Many customer service experts believe that dealing with a complaint well can actually result in you turning an unhappy customer into a very loyal customer, maybe even more so than they were before the issue arose.

Therefore you may not only gain a highly loyal customer but you build rapport with future potential customers who see your efforts of resolution when doing their due diligence on your store, tempting them to shop with you because they know that you will go the extra mile to make sure that any issue is resolved.

Bettering your business by evaluating customer complaints

Use customer complaints to discover where you are going wrong

Customer complaints can help you to discover where you are going wrong as a business and make it right.

Are you getting a flurry of complaints about your delivery times for example? Consider what you can do to make this process quicker and eliminate the complaints you are getting in this area, whilst improving your business. For instance, you may want to review your terms with your current delivery firm or shop around for a faster courier.

Reviewing complaints can be a great way for you to see your business through your customers’ eyes and help to really streamline your business, improve internal processes and become a more efficient retailer, which will impact your stores bottom line.

Solutions to customer complaints


Although no online retailer wants to receive customer complaints, used in the right way, they can be a very useful tool to improve your knowledge of exactly what your customers want and expect from you.

Viewed as a form of feedback, customer complaints can be very useful to inform your business decisions and help you to avoid making costly errors.

Dealt with in a positive and empathetic manner, with solutions offered to help resolve a customer’s issues, customer complaints need not be as negative as they first seem.

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