This chapter suggests ten strategies for working with the emotional dynamics of complaints so effective handling can strengthen connections with customers.

Going from Problems to Partners

Complaint handlers are best advised to phrase their initial responses to complaining customers with emotional words.

In their book, A Complaint Is a Gift, Barlow and Møller recommend that complaint handlers shift their paradigm about complaints and see them as “gifts,” rather than as nuisances, attacks, or whatever other negative views are held about complaints. When people are given gifts, they typically say “Thank you,” whether they like the gift or not. Barlow and Møller, in their eight-step “Gift Formula” ...

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