Negative feedback is an aggravation for every business owner.

Instead of treating a customer complaint as a negative, treat it as an opportunity to improve your business.

Whether customers are complaining about your products, your services or your employees, there are ways to turn the negativity on its head.

Here’s how to handle any complaint that you receive and keep your customers coming back:

1. Pay Attention

Not all of the negative feedback that you receive will come through your call center.

Websites like Yelp allow users to leave positive and negative reviews at will.

Pay attention to what people are saying about your company on the Internet.

Be proactive when it comes to social media.

Scour the Internet once a week and look for any negative feedback about your products and services.

2. Provide Feedback

Do not ignore a single complaint that you find.

Just as you would address a customer who phoned in to your call center, immediately respond to those customers leaving negative feedback on the Internet or by mail.

Do your best to solve the problem. When you cannot solve the problem to the customer’s satisfaction, respond in a calm, respectful manner.

Keep in mind that future customers will be able to read these discussions.

Even if you are unable to solve the problem, your sincerity will speak volumes.

3. Go Above and Beyond

Do more than simply solve the problem; offer something more.

Taking the extra step will go a long way towards pleasing your current customer and attracting new ones.

Once the problem is solved, offer a tip that will prevent the problem from occurring in the future.

If the issue is resolved and is unlikely to happen again, offer a savings towards the customer’s future visit.

Do what you can to move beyond providing a solution to retain the customer.

4. Provide a Venue

Your customers should never have to search for more than a minute for an outlet for their complaint.

Additionally, your customers should have a choice of methods to reach your help desk.

Your website and social media page should include a physical address, an email address, a phone number and an on-site form.

When you provide multiple avenues for feedback, your customers are less likely to become frustrated enough to take their business elsewhere.

5. Improve Yourself

Each negative comment or problem that arises presents a chance for improvement.

Make note of the type of complaint that you find. If they are consistently regarding the same product or service, look for ways to improve that product or service.

If negative feedback centers on a specific employee, retrain that employee. Problems present a way for you to grow your business and increase your profit margin.

Do not avoid negative feedback; welcome it.

Positive feedback is good for your ego; negative feedback is good for your business.

Remember that improvement is the key to a successful business. Use any complaints that your business receives as a chance to learn and grow.

Kattia Bolanos