A PCO once shared his method of how he handles customer complaints and I thought it was worth sharing. When he visits his customer about a complaint, especially when damage is involved, he gets them to write down what they think is a fair resolution. He will then pick this up the next day for consideration. He feels this lets them share in the solution. He said that sometimes they will suggest lower deals than what he thought would be fair. Of course, there will always be some that will go to the extreme opposite direction.
When he has worked out a compromise and the complaint is settled, he will always get them to sign a statement that they were satisified with the final outcome.
There are a lot of different ways to handle complaints and small claims for yourself. One thing you always should do is to get some documentation of the settlement to put into your file.