RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Internet Marketing 101 : July 15, 2020

How to Properly Handle E-Commerce Customer Complaints in the COVID-19 Era

Since the emergence of COVID-19, it's been no secret that the attitudes and behaviors of consumers have drastically changed.

In efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, more and more people have made a point to stay home, which also means that consumers have done a lot more online shopping than ever before.

According to, due to the pandemic, online sales have grown up to 76% as of June 2020! For brick-and-mortar stores, the pandemic has caused them severe business interruptions, and a lot of them won't be able to financially recover from being closed for too long. But for e-commerce stores, on the other hand... the pandemic has proven to be the best thing that's ever happened to them.

Is that a tad bit crude? Maybe just a little, but this is coming from a business perspective. You can't deny the fact that online businesses were already on an upward trajectory, and when the pandemic practically forced people to shop online to reduce the spread of the virus, e-commerce sales went through the roof!

True enough, e-commerce businesses have seen great success during the pandemic but in that success, it has also set them up for numerous complaints as well. So, as an e-commerce owner, how do you properly handle those complaints, especially during these times?

Should customers just be quiet and be glad they're able to shop online without having to physically go into a store, despite having complaints? Or should e-commerce business owners handle their complaints delicately?

The honest truth is that the pandemic has changed consumer behaviors, and they're scared, so people are taking their fears and frustrations out on businesses, unfortunately.

Some of the complaints businesses are receiving might be unreasonable, but as a business owner, you have to look past that and empathize with what customers are feeling. At the end of the day, you want your customers to remember your business and how you met their needs during the pandemic so that they'll remain a loyal customer when everything has cleared up.

So, whether your complaints are reasonable or unreasonable, here's how to appropriately handle them.

How to Properly Handle E-Commerce Customer Complaints During the Pandemic

Respond Promptly and With a Pleasant Demeanor
When a customer complains, it's not something that should get swept under the rug; it's something that demands your attention right away. Again, their complaints might be reasonable and unreasonable, but regardless of which, you need to do everything in your power to resolve the issue and do it with a pleasant demeanor.

All customers want is to be heard. By responding and acknowledging their complaint, it puts customers at ease to know that you hear them and are going to do something to rectify the matter. It's when they feel ignored that they get disgruntled and try to ruin business reputation.

Don't Delete the Posted Complaint
One of the first things business owners want to do is delete complaints from unsatisfied customers. By doing that, what are you saying to your customers? That you're a perfect business? Not by any means. When a customer posts a complaint about your products or services, leave the complaint there, and respond to it with a pleasant demeanor.

The customer who complained about it will obviously know you deleted the comment, and that could cause them to get even angrier and spread more negative news about your business.

Apologize For the Inconveniences They've Experienced
Apologize... it's as simple as that. If your products or services have inconvenienced your customers in any shape, form, or fashion, apologize for it immediately, and then work to right the wrong.

Explain Every Part of the Process in How You're Going to Resolve Their Issues
Nothing angers a customer more than being passed around from here to there when trying to resolve an issue. That reason alone is why you have to handle their complaints delicately. Explain to them how their issue will be handled, who they're going to be speaking to first, and what their results should be. They just need clarity in the situation and don't want any surprises.

As a business owner, whether you're selling products or services, you're going to make mistakes and you're not going to be able to please everyone, of course. But during this pandemic, it would be in your best interest to re-evaluate the type of business insurance you have to protect your business during these times.

You might have a customer who claims to had contracted the coronavirus after receiving a package from your company and try to sue you for negligence in not taking proper disinfecting precautions. Even if it were true but it was an accident, you need that peace of mind in knowing your business is protected.

If you're seriously considering professional liability coverage, you can get your quote today.


Subscribe to BizReport



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.