Don’t take it personally. See it as a chance to fine-tune your customer service policies. Consumers complain to BBB (or to other third parties) because your internal process has not met their needs. BBB does not want more complaints; we want fewer complaints, which happens only when your internal processes work. BBB staffers always ask the customer if they spoke with you first.
Note timelines for response and mark them on your calendar. As a business, you have 30 days to respond to us. If we don’t hear in 15 days, we send a reminder letter.
Set aside emotions and deal with the facts. If the customer’s request violates company policy, say so and state your policy. If the customer is being unreasonable, say so and back it up with factual data. BBB recognizes that the customer is not always right.
Identify the core issue of the complaint. Don’t get caught up in side issues. “She cussed; he scowled; she’s a known deadbeat; he’s bounced checks here before” are all irrelevant. All the customer knows is that something went wrong.
Address the core issue. If your company slipped up, correct it then and there. If the customer is being unreasonable, tell us how. “They won’t let me back on their property” can be considered as unreasonable behavior on the part of the customer if your attempts to fix what went wrong are reasonable and in good faith.
Respond in writing to BBB. Use regular mail or e-mail or the special online facilities that you are directed to in the complaint transmittal letter from BBB.
The customer will see your response to BBB. Avoid immoderate language. Both sides have a chance to rebut the other’s arguments or positions. The customer has the last say.
We do not know your business. You do. We do not know the pros and cons of the appropriate flux selection in a welding job, for example. If it’s relevant to your response, educate us. If the customer wants you to violate the laws, rules, regulations or industrial standards that apply to your business, tell us and substantiate. We do not judge your skills, professional knowledge or workmanship. We judge your customer service.
BBB can only evaluate what it receives from both parties. If you have relevant documents such as repair orders that the consumer didn’t include; receipts or payment stubs that substantiate and support your side of the argument, send copies with your reply.
Resolved, resolved, resolved. A clean record at BBB is all resolved complaints, not the absence of complaints. Even the best companies get complaints. What distinguishes those firms is how they work to resolve complaints, then learn and improve from them. Lesser companies, with poor customer service, rarely admit any errors or ignore complaints all together.