You’re probably familiar with eBay’s feedback system and other rating systems like BizRate, Shopzilla, and Amazon MarketPlace. Sometimes feedback comes by way of a phone call or email. This means that occasional negative feedback (or complaints) will come in from customers. If you’re performing exemplary customer service, chances are those will be minimal.
But there will always be the occasional unhappy customer. The best approach to take is to try to understand something from the complaint. In almost every case, they have a message for you to learn from, as difficult as it might be to admit. Then take it one step further and thank the customer for their comments. Assure them that you will take steps to rectify the problem and/or prevent the problem from happening again in the future.
Taking a constructive approach to negative feedback reaffirms customer trust and helps you take something beneficial from the experience.