• Empowering customers to solve problems can be a great marketing tool. 
  • It reduces support costs and improves customer satisfaction, loyalty, etc. 

The “Trust Customers in Handling Complaints” marketing strategy goes beyond ignoring customer complaints and empowers them to solve them on their own. A great part of customer satisfaction comes from how their complaints are handled, and it can be a daunting task, especially with huge brands

It can have multiple benefits if brands develop a mechanism that allows and trusts customers to handle their complaints. Resources like FAQs, tutorials, community forums, etc., can help. Plus, companies can prioritize transparency and provide clear information about products, services, policies, and potential problems. 

This strategy aims to create a win-win scenario for the brand and customers. It significantly reduces the cost for the company as it relies less on traditional support channels. It facilitates increased customer satisfaction by facilitating faster problem-solving and a sense of control, as well as fuels stronger customer relationships and loyalty. 

How IKEA Successfully Incorporated the “Trust Customers in Handling Their Own Complaints” Marketing Strategy? 

IKEA is the world’s leading furniture brand and sells its products in optiLedge packaging, meaning customers must assemble their furniture. This approach was a significant source of customer complaints, as customers either needed help understanding assembly instructions or needed more expertise.

Eventually, customers grew tired, and the complaints started piling up, so IKEA incorporated the “Trust Customers in Handling  Complaints” marketing strategy. Their approach towards customer service revolved around trusting and empowering customers to troubleshoot and fix minor problems themselves. 

Providing Clear Assembly Instructions

IKEA products are well known for their self-assembly instructions. Customers buy furniture and then assemble it at home. Trusting their customers, IKEA provides detailed, step-by-step instructions with clear illustrations to help them assemble. These instructions either come with the product or are available online, and the clarity of the instructions helps customers understand the process and solve the problem on their own. 

They also run interactive contests like #AssembleTogether, where consumers post their assembly videos online to gain benefits. These videos and curated videos provided detailed instructions for assembling, further mitigating the scope of complaints they might have. 

Readily Available Spare Parts

IKEA understands that sometimes parts required for assembly, like screws, nuts and bolts, etc, get misplaced during the assembly process. This was another point of complaint they had to resolve. They have a dedicated spare parts section in their stores to address this issue. 

It is where customers can easily find and purchase those missing screws, nuts, dowels, etc, required for completing the assembly process. This spare parts corner mitigated the need for customers to call customer service for minor missing parts and provided them with the mechanism, empowering them to solve their problems. 

Facilitating Online Assembly Guides & Troubleshooting

In addition to providing the physical instructions along with the product, IKEA also invests in providing online assembly guides and troubleshooting resources. Prominent resources include instructional videos specifically designed to demonstrate the assembly process visually. 

It is helpful to customers who encounter specific difficulties during the procedure, as they can find solutions without contacting IKEA’s customer service department. This reduces their load and empowers consumers to handle their assembly-related issues on their own. 

Community Forums and User Reviews

IKEA also facilitates community forums where customers can freely ask questions, share expert tips, and help each other with assembling the products and related issues. This approach fosters a sense of community while empowering customers to learn from each other’s experiences. 

Additionally, IKEA’s website provides user reviews that highlight potential assembly challenges and offer compelling solutions to other customers. This further decreases customer complaints and helps them enjoy the assembly process. 

Focus on Self-Service & Customer Service Backup

This approach skillfully emphasizes self-service. The huge IKEA stores are designed to be easy to navigate, with clearer signage and product displays. This allows customers to find what they are looking for, troubleshoot, and enjoy the building experience. Their website is also very user-friendly, and selecting orders and returning products is a breeze. 

While empowering customers to handle minor issues themselves, they understand that there will be times when they require assistance. Hence, the customer service department is readily available to address complex issues, from product defects to warranty claims, etc. 

IKEA’s success story with this strategy hinges on clear communication, empowering consumers, and reducing reliance on customer service. The instructions, spare parts availability, and online resources foster clear communication. Educating and empowering customers fosters a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction while reducing the burden on customer service staff. 

What is Trusting Customers to Handle Complaints Marketing Strategy? 

Interestingly, the “Trust Your Customers to Handle Complaints” module goes beyond the scope of a one-size-fits-all strategy. It’s more of a philosophical approach to customer service, emphasizing empowerment and transparency in the module so that customers can solve the majority of issues themselves.

The Core Principle

The core of this strategy revolves around customer autonomy, transparency, openness and community building. Remember, customers can resolve minor issues only if they are educated and empowered. Marketers can use self-service options like Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), knowledge bases, troubleshooting guides, tutorials, etc. 

Consumers appreciate readily available information about products, services, policies, hidden charges, and potential issues. This allows them to find solutions without needing direct or expert support. This approach helps foster a sense of community by capitalizing on forums, user groups, etc., empowering customers to help each other. 

Potential Benefits

The strategy provides multiple benefits, including reduced support costs, improved customer satisfaction, enhanced customer loyalty, and providing valuable customer insights. Empowering customers and entrusting them to solve specific issues significantly reduces the reliance on expensive call centers and support staff. 

When customers can solve problems independently, they feel empowered and in control of their decisions and actions, improving customer satisfaction. The trust and transparency brands provide to their customers foster positive brand perceptions and increase customer loyalty. Marketers gain valuable customer insights by observing their decisions in forums and groups, allowing them to make informed decisions. 

Implementation and Important Considerations

If a brand wishes to incorporate this marketing strategy, it must develop robust self-service resources. These could include a comprehensive knowledge base with clear instructions, video tutorials, etc., addressing common issues. Interactive FAQs allow consumers to search for solutions based on keywords and navigate the decision tree. 

Marketers could provide a community forum platform for customers to ask questions, share experiences, and help each other. Social media engagement could also do the trick if marketers actively respond to customer concerns and skillfully use these platforms to share solutions. 

However, one crucial thing to consider is that the approach is well suited for companies with relatively simple products or services, as complexities might necessitate direct support. Carefully consider the target audience’s technical proficiency and comfort levels, as they are a significant concern. 

While empowering customers, ensure in-depth monitoring of online forums and social media to identify unresolved issues and widespread discontent requiring intervention. A feedback mechanism must provide customers with valuable self-service information and identify areas for improvement. 

Pros and Cons of “Trust Your Customers to Handle Their Own Complaints” Marketing Strategy

Like every other marketing strategy, this has pros and cons, as discussed below. 


Empowering customers to solve minor problems themselves significantly reduces the workload and stress on their customer support teams and considerably lowers operational costs. Customers often feel empowered When they quickly and easily find solutions to problems, leading to improved customer satisfaction.

Remember, trust and transparency are the key drivers of customer loyalty. When customers feel respected for their time and intelligence, they tend to become loyal brand advocates. Self-service resources could easily handle large volumes of customer inquiries and enhance the scalability of the product, service, and campaign. 


This marketing strategy might only be suitable for some customer issues. Specific complex problems or situations require personalized attention and might not be addressed effectively through provided self-service options. Also, customers who are not tech-savvy or unfamiliar with the product might need help despite the solutions, leading to frustration.

Unmoderated forums or communities can be a platform for inaccurate information, increasing frustration. Well-designed or practical self-service options lead to positive brand perception. Some customers value customer service’s human elements and might need to focus more on self-service options. 
In conclusion, “Trust Customers in Handling Complaints” can be a powerful tool for reducing support costs, improving customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, and providing valuable insights. It empowers the customer to solve minor issues, which could lead to positive word of mouth and repeat business.