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How to Deal with Unhappy Customers

Published on November 13, 2021
Last modified on March 22, 2022
dealing with unhappy customers

Dealing with unhappy customers is one of the biggest challenges for any business. Handling such situations poorly can result in a higher churn rate, stressful conversations, and unpleasant experiences. 

At a time when the internet and social media have given individuals platforms to express their opinions, it is better not to make their anger worse or it can negatively impact the brand’s reputation.

This article will look at eight approaches to dealing with unhappy customers and turning negative experiences into positive ones!


8 Strategies for Dealing with Unhappy Customers

Listening to angry customers, empathizing with them, identifying the issue, and providing solutions can help calm them down and make the whole experience positive. Now without further ado, let’s get onto the eight strategies of how to deal with unhappy customers.  


1. Remain patient and don’t take anything personally

When an angry customer gets in touch with you, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. It is obvious that the customer contacted you due to frustration. It has nothing to do with you, so don’t take their comments too personally.

The most important thing is to realize that your customer is unhappy and that you should help them find a solution to their problem. To succeed at it, pay attention to the problem at hand, remain patient and stay professional. 


2. Be attentive to what they say

An angry customer only needs someone who can listen to them, and you become that “someone” the moment you answer their call. Try not to interrupt them since it will only irritate them further. Listen carefully to what they have to say, take notes, and reassure them. 

Refrain from jumping to conclusions about what happened and solving the problem immediately without fully understanding what the customer wants. Also, never treat any phone call, email, or even text message alike. Don’t project a specific behaviour on all your customers because they are all different and require different approaches. 


3. Call them by their name

Whether it’s products or people, customization works great for both! When you address your customer with a “sir” or a “ma’am”, you may sound too formal. A customer, or even you, may not feel as connected when you don’t even acknowledge them by name. So make sure you leverage the power of using a name!


4. Extend a sincere apology

It is common for customers to just want someone to apologize for the bad service they received. Regardless of whether or not you think their complaint was reasonable, or if they exaggerated, an apology can work wonders. 

It is best if you express your sincere apologies for the inconvenience they may have experienced. Now, apologizing doesn’t necessarily mean saying “sorry” over and over again. Acknowledge what they’re saying and apologize for it, then find a way to work things out. 


5. Be empathic

Empathy is the cornerstone of customer service. Understanding why your customer is upset and showing them that you are here to assist them is key. In addition to a sincere apology, you should also let them know they are valued and that you will do your best to resolve their issue. 

Empathizing with unhappy customers when engaging them prevents them from leaving, turns them into loyal customers, and binds them to the brand.


6. Find a fix

During your experience, you will face various types of customers with varying issues. One solution might not work for every customer since they’ll require different solutions for the same issue, so fix each one separately.

In some cases, it’s sufficient to offer a discount, partial or full refund, or even a replacement. Other cases, though, may require a greater degree of intervention and more consideration. Also, always verify that the solution can be implemented before taking action.


7. Act and follow up

When you have identified the solution to the problem, take immediate action. Inform the client that the issue has been resolved. Once the problem has been resolved, follow up with the customer to ensure they are satisfied with the outcome.


8. Value feedback

Finally, learn from the experience and take steps to prevent it from happening again. You must find the root cause of the problem if you haven’t already. Your problem-solving skills will be strengthened and you will be able to manage future complaints more effectively.


Final Thoughts

Sometimes when a customer is unhappy about something, they’ll come in and start complaining without much reason. You need to take control of the situation right away so it does not escalate into anything serious.

A lot of people don’t know how to handle unhappy customers, but there are certain ways to do this that will make you much more likely to retain all the business you’re currently getting and acquire even more. Using the methods outlined above can help you deal with heated arguments or cold responses better and more effectively.

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