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Customer complaints: dealing with repeat complainants

by Lynne Campbell | Posted in Complaints management solutions | 24 January 2017
Customer complaints: dealing with repeat complainants

Persistent customer complaints can be the most difficult for organisations to handle effectively and it’s easy for emotions to run high; whether it’s multiple complaints about one issue or repeated frustration from one particular customer.

The complaint handling experts at Workpro have put together these top 5 tips to help you maintain control, reduce frustration and handle repeat customer complaints more effectively.

Workpro’s 5 Top Tips for handling repeat complaints

Stay calm

This may seem like the obvious, but is often forgotten in the heat of the moment. 

Maintaining a calm and professional manner throughout the complaints handling process will help to cool the situation. Repeat complainants will naturally be in an emotionally agitated state and therefore may be harder to reason with.  However, their return to your organisation provides your complaint handling staff with an opportunity to deal with their complaint and rebuild their trust . An additional bonus is that common complaints provide opportunities to identify improvements you need to make to your products or services.

Be aware of your channel of communication

Are you communicating over the phone, by letter or email, through social media or face to face? When writing a response to a complaint, be sure to read over what you have written. Put yourself in a customer’s shoes, as if you were making the complaint. Have you got the tone right? Would you be happy to receive this?

Match your body language and tone of voice.

Body language is important regardless of whether you are handling the complaint on the phone or face-to-face with the complainant.

Ensure that your body language and tone of voice matches the sentiment of your words. Stand or sit up straight, and be present - you want the complainant to be in no doubt that you care about their issues.

So, remember that your posture will reflect in your tone of voice, even over the phone.

The three F’s.

It’s not what you’re thinking! Feel, Felt, Found, are three key words that your complaints handling team should remember. For example, “I know how you feel, others have felt the same, however they have found…” Of course this may not work for every scenario, but it’s a great building block for handling a persistent complaint or an agitated complainant. 


Handling persistent complaints can be time consuming, tiring and repetitive but these complaints must be handled with patience.

You may have heard the complaint before but you must try to treat every new phone call or meeting with the utmost importance. Remember to put yourself into the customer’s shoes - how you would feel if you were experiencing the problem?

Repeat complaints may be irritating, but they can provide a positive catalyst for change within your business. 

A complaints management system can improve the efficiency of your processes when handling multiple and persistent complaints. 

Workpro’s complaint handling software allows complaints to be filtered in order of importance, calls or emails can be scheduled and reminders can be set. Cases can be linked so that you can build a picture across common complaints causes, nuisance or abusive callers can even be flagged. Analysis can also be undertaken in order to identify areas of persistent complaints and where improvement is needed.

Workpro Complaints is a complaints management system that can record, process and track your complaints, complete with in-depth reporting and analysis tools.

Workpro is available as a cloud-based or in-house system and if you are seeking to improve how you manage repeat complaints, we would be happy to provide a free online demo to show you how you could benefit.

We believe that complaints are an invaluable customer insight tool, an opportunity to do business better. Don’t just fix it, sort it!

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