Complainers are the worst! As they open up, customer-facing employees are likely to start facing unruly customers again soon. Luckily, the business comparison experts at Bionic have rounded up their top tips for small business owners on how to deal with irate customers.

Dani Weller, Customer Service Team Leader at business comparison experts, Bionic, said: “All small business owners need to deal with negative feedback at some stage, and it’s important to deal with it in the right way. If not, one complaint can turn into irreversible reputation damage. We ran our report to find out if the location had a bearing on the number of complaints, and during our research, we found the ‘Karen’ phenomenon was a real thing, with ‘Karen’ ranking in the top 10 names for people who complain the most.

“Obviously, complaining is not a name or gender-specific trait, and bad online reviews can be a real problem for small business owners who rely on Trustpilot ratings or Google reviews. That’s why we wanted to use our expertise to help small businesses deal with any complaints they might face – the customer may not always be right, but that’s down to you to explain respectfully and acknowledge any mistakes you may have made.”

Dani’s top five tips include:

1.Keep calm and keep your head

Stay calm and listen to your customer (and we mean really listen) to their issues. Even if you don’t think their point of view is correct, you need to show a willingness to at least hear their side of the story.

2.Be solution focussed

Acknowledging the customer’s feelings and offering solutions go a long way. Offer a genuine apology and focus on how the situation can be rectified. Be polite, genuine, and let them know you hear what they’re saying.

3.Stick to the facts, don’t get emotional

If you can’t come to a solution, calmly let them know why. At this point, it’s important to keep your head, explain the situation factually, not subjectively, and keep emotions in check so you don’t poke the proverbial bear.

4.Keep records and protect yourself

Keep communication open and transparent and record what’s taking place, have a paper trail. Keep communication open and transparent with your customer so they also have a record of the exchange.

5.Know your rights

It’s good to know your legal rights and what customers are entitled to. If you ever feel like you could be on the verge of a legal issue you should seek professional legal advice as soon as you’re able. There’s also plenty of resources for free online.

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige