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  • BBB Business Tip: Why you should answer customer complaints

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    September 07, 2022

    BBB® Tuesday Tip

    Photo Courtesy of Getty Images


    How thoroughly does your company track comments left by clients? It’s important to know what to do when a negative review or complaint appears online about your company, since it may have a significant impact on your business’s reputation.

    Consider the situation from the customer’s point of view: how frequently have you had a negative interaction with a company, and you feel your voice was not heard? How did you feel when you received a personalized response from the business? Studies show that 7 in 10 respondents indicated that seeing a brand’s response to a complaint, not even their own, showed that the company cares about its customers.

    But, according to Womply, over 75 percent of businesses don’t respond to reviews.  Regaining a customer’s loyalty might be as simple as responding to these clients promptly to resolve the issue. 

    Resolving complaints protects your BBB rating

    There are many reasons why responding to all customer complaints is a good practice. Submitting a response indicates a willingness to work with customers to make things right. In fact, how a business responds to customer complaints is one of the most significant components of the BBB Business Rating.

    BBB Ratings and how they're derived are sometimes the subject of discussion. For example, how do businesses with thousands of complaints often have an A+ BBB rating? At BBB, we recognize that misunderstandings occur and that the causes that contribute to dissatisfaction are not always within everyone's control. For us, it’s not about how the mix-up occurred but how a business reconciles with its customers.

    Businesses that react quickly to customer concerns and work with clients to restore the connection can maintain an A+ Rating. Larger companies with a more extensive network are more likely to have a higher volume of complaints. Rather than focusing on the number of complaints, consider how frequently and effectively those complaints are resolved. 

    It’s a chance to share your side of the story

    Customer reviews are powerful. According to BrightLocal, an average local business’s Google My Business listing is viewed 1,260 times each month. When there are unfavorable reviews present in that bunch, especially those without responses, it may lead a customer to spend their money somewhere else.

    However, reviews may not always tell the complete story. A customer might embellish information in their review because they’re pursuing some kind of compensation. They assume the escalation will encourage your business to react negatively. These circumstances, if left unattended, can harm your business’ reputation.

    Responding to a customer’s review allows you a chance to explain what happened. The steps begin with recognizing the customer’s dissatisfaction, providing insight into what caused the misunderstanding (even if it’s exaggerated) and allowing the opportunity for further reconciliation.

    You could save a customer 

    According to Womply, people spend up to 49 percent more at businesses that reply to reviews. Even unhappy customers may return to a business if they feel their complaints are heard and responded to.

    As stated above, customers may be frustrated, but sometimes unfavorable reviews include inflated opinions. Acknowledging the customer’s concerns, working with them, and coming up with a solution together is a great way to repair the relationship and save a paying customer.

    However, your answer may save more than just the first customer. You may also keep additional customers who observe how you responded to a challenging situation. Seeing a company professionally work with a dissatisfied client shows future consumers that your company cares about their needs. Taking the time to acknowledge a complaint, even if you cannot provide compensation, can show prospective customers that you care.

    (September 13th will be BBB Business Tip: How to handle a customer complaint)


    BBB of Northwest Florida

    912 E. Gadsden Street

    Pensacola, FL 32501



    Tammy Ward, Communications Director
    tammy@nwfl.bbb.org, (850) 429-0002