Why do you need our top 10 tips on how to go about handling complaints professionally? In any customer service industry, there will be complaints from clients. No matter how good a personal trainer you are, you will encounter an unhappy client at some point. It’s not the end of the world. It’s how you go about handling these complaints that matters. Whatever you do, don’t ignore any complaints you receive. Customer care is important – and that includes resolving any problems that may arise.

Statistics tell us that when we receive a complaint, there are probably several other clients who are unhappy but have not approached us. Those clients who haven’t said anything to us will tell, on average, 11 other people about the problem they have experienced. So what does this mean for you? It means that you need to take each customer complaint seriously and resolve it in a professional manner. Ignoring a complaint, or handling it in a less than professional manner, will only serve to make matters worse.

  1. Stay calm and don’t take the complaint personally. Avoid being defensive or confrontational at all times.
  2. It’s important to be in the right frame of mind when you are handling a complaint. View complaints as an opportunity to improve the service that you offer.
  3. Try to see the situation from your client’s point of view. Good communication skills are paramount here – listen carefully to what your client is saying. If you listen without interrupting, you will give your client the opportunity to vent their frustrations and calm down. Once you are both calm, you can approach the problem in a constructive manner.
  4. Summarise the client’s concern to check your understanding. Use a phrase along the lines of “So if I understand you correctly…”
  5. Admit to any mistakes you have made and clearly explain any misunderstandings.
  6. Acknowledge your client’s emotions so that they feel that their frustration etc has been understood.
  7. Steer the direction of the conversation so that it’s not about the client complaining about a problem, but about you trying to find a constructive solution to the situation.
  8. Ask questions to get as many relevant details as necessary.
  9. Politely offer the client a solution. Clearly state what it is you are going to do to solve the problem.
  10. After a few days, follow up with a phone call to ask the client if they’re okay. Give the client any feedback about your efforts to rectify the situation. If the mistake was yours, then do something by way of apology, such as offering the client one free training session.