Nearly every legitimate customer complaint could be turned around right away with an immediate, forceful reply:
This shouldn’t have happened.
It was our mistake.
I’m going to fix it right now and make things better than they were before.
In other words, “I feel as bad about this as you do, because I care as deeply as you do – or more – about keeping the promise I’ve made to you as a customer.”
The power to diffuse comes from your definitive and quick response, which is only possible when the person hearing the complaint has the power to make things right.
Once a complaint has gone through four levels of escalation, no matter what you do it’s too late.