Types of Customer Complaints and How to Respond To Them

Gladly Team

Read Time

4 minute read

You can do a lot to perfect your products, services, and even your customer experience, but customer complaints are still inevitable. The best way to manage customer issues is by preparing for them, which starts with familiarizing yourself and your support staff on how to address the most common types of customer complaints.

Let’s dig into a few examples of customer service complaints and take a closer look at why they come up and how your support team can address them effectively.

What to Do If a Customer Is Unhappy

When customers are unhappy, the most important thing to do is listen, take them seriously, and work collaboratively with them to resolve the problem.

The Importance of Customer Complaints

When customers come to your support team with an issue, this is an opportunity for your brand to provide conflict resolution and build stronger relationships with shoppers through patience and understanding.

When your brand knows how to field and handle complaints appropriately, you’ll build customer loyalty that ensures shoppers will be confident spending with you again in the future. Customer complaints are also useful for improving your customer experience, allowing you to:

  • Find opportunities: As negative as they might be, complaints tell you what customers are thinking and how you can invest in improving your customer experience.
  • Eliminate weaknesses: More than anything, complaints reveal the gaps in your customer experience that need to be fixed.

Customer Experience Resources to Build Long-Term Brand Loyalty

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Types of Customer Complaints and How to Reply

Looking up products

When customers have their eyes set on a particular product or service to solve their pressing issues, the last thing they want to find is that the item they’re interested in is out of stock or even discontinued.

Complaint: “The product/service I wanted is no longer available.”

Solution: Teach your agents to refer these issues up to managers while taking the time to identify trends in low inventory of popular products. To reassure the customer, have agents let them know they’ll be the first to find out when a product is back in stock through an email or SMS notification. Going further, try using a platform that incorporates proactive SMS so these messages send automatically to keep shoppers in the loop.

Simultaneously, show agents how this could be an opportunity for them to upsell a similarly effective product as a way to resolve the customer’s immediate complaint.

Making the purchase

Payment processes are riddled with potential issues that lead to complaints. Investing in the right support software is essential, but even still, your team of service agents will likely receive regular questions about payments.

Complaint: “This payment method is too complicated/won’t accept my card.”

Solution: Have your agents work with the shopper to find a possible payment method, assisting them all the way through completing the purchase. Then, make sure they bring this issue to the attention of a manager or higher-up who can influence the brand to invest in payment accessibility. Some technology can make payment possible regardless of channel, even in chat. Gladly’s payment platform makes transactions simple to complete while allowing customers to check out when and where they want.

Post-purchase questions

These issues will arise after the customer has received the product or service and is either displeased with their purchase, or hasn’t fully unlocked the potential of the product/service itself.

Complaint: “This product/service isn’t delivering in the way I was expecting.”

Solution: When customers make this complaint, they may exhibit a lot of frustration as they’ve already made a purchase and are feeling disappointed by their investment. Agents should be ready to field these complaints calmly and provide their own expertise on the product’s potential while confirming whether the item is being used correctly. Support staff should also be told to relay this constructive feedback to managers and higher ups who can use this information to better future product development.

Resources to Solve Different Types of Customer Complaints

While customer complaints can be frustrating, remember that even the most successful brands out there have to field shopper issues daily. Having a technology partner like Gladly can help your agents feel more prepared and confident when handling tough conversations.

Customer Feedback and Survey Tools

Gathering feedback from customers is essential for understanding their satisfaction levels and identifying areas for improvement. Feedback and survey tools help teams collect customer insights through feedback forms, satisfaction surveys, and Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys. To this end, Gladly integrates with popular survey tools like Medallia and Delighted.


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