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Not Sure How To Deal With Difficult & Dissatisfied Customers? We've Got You!

Customer is always right…. Right?

Well, if you’re dealing with customers daily, you know that’s not always the case.

However, what’s important is making them feel like they are. Now, hear me out, I’m not asking you to blindly agree with every customer complaint or demand. Instead, it's about understanding their perspective, empathizing with their concerns, and finding a solution that leaves everyone satisfied.

When customers aren't exactly "right," give them a good experience anyway. This means avoiding confrontations, remaining calm, and maintaining a professional demeanor. 

Truth is, you can’t make everyone happy, it’s basically impossible, but you can try! 

Stay Calm and Professional

When dealing with an upset customer, it's crucial not to let their anger get to you. Practice active listening by repeating what they say to show you understand. 

If a customer is using harsh language, please try not to respond in the same way. Take a moment to compose yourself and reply in a professional manner. In such situations, responding with kindness can be quite effective.

Reassure the customer that your goal is to assist them and resolve the issue. This simple acknowledgment can help defuse the tension. Then, focus on finding a solution, whether it's a quick fix or a more complex problem that requires time to resolve. 

The key is to demonstrate your commitment to resolving the issue and providing excellent customer service.

Engage in Reflective Listening

After a customer expresses frustration or complaints, use reflective listening to show that you've heard and understood their concerns. Take our example of a dissatisfied customer:

Customer: "I'm upset because your customer support takes too long to respond, and I need help urgently."

Response: "I realize this, but…"

This kind of response isn't likely to lead to a positive outcome. Instead, reflective listening involves the manager picking up on more than just the words – considering the customer's body language and tone. Here's a better approach:

Customer: "I'm upset because your customer support takes too long to respond, and I need help urgently."

Response: "I hear you're frustrated because our customer support response time is slow, and you have an urgent issue. Is that accurate?"

In this instance, the manager employs reflective listening to acknowledge the customer's frustration and repeats the key points, demonstrating understanding of the problem. Even if a quick resolution isn't possible, the aim is to make the customer feel acknowledged. 

Let Them Speak Their Mind

Sometimes, just letting an upset customer spill out their frustration can do wonders. Don't get into an argument or try to cut them off. Just let them say what's on their mind. Show you're listening by leaning in and nodding when it makes sense. Repeat the main things they're saying back to them.

For example:

Customer: "I ordered this online, and it arrived much later than expected."

Response: "I hear you – you're frustrated because the delivery took longer than you anticipated. Let's work together to find a solution and make sure this doesn't happen again."

After they've had their say, take a look at the situation and see if there's a way to make things better. If there's no easy fix, think about options like giving a refund, getting a manager involved, or agreeing to disagree. Dealing with tricky customers also means knowing when to get extra help.

Try to Understand Their Side

When a customer's griping about something, it's tempting to snap back, but that won't get you far. Take a moment to connect with your customer by understanding where they're coming from. Imagine yourself in their shoes. Let them know you get why they're frustrated.

When you show that you get their problem, it's way easier to calm them down and find a fix. It's natural to want to match their volume, but try the opposite – speak calmly and slow it down. Stay collected and polite. Keeping a helpful attitude is the key in all the examples of dealing with tricky customers.

Stay Open-Minded

When a customer is telling you about their experience, see it as a chance to pick up some insights and get better. 

Remember, customers are people too. They've got their own stuff going on, maybe had a rough morning with a traffic stop or an argument at home. When you're dealing with tricky customers, try to get where they're coming from and figure out the issue together, rather than making it a battle.

Keep It Professional

Focus on the problem and avoid taking things personally, even if the customer starts getting personal. Keep in mind that the customer is frustrated with the situation, not you personally. Guide the conversation back to the issue at hand and how you plan to fix it.

Call Them Back!

Even if you don't have the update you promised, stick to the scheduled callback time. It reassures the customer that you're not trying to avoid them, and they'll value the effort to follow up.

Find Solutions

Last but not least, the key to a good customer experience often hinges on the solutions you provide. Start by thinking about solutions right away. You don't want unhappy customers spreading bad reviews.

A satisfied customer can make a big difference, but remember that negative reviews and word-of-mouth can spread fast. 

When possible, consider refunds, providing a new product, or offering a complimentary service to resolve issues. In the end, you might just end up with a happy customer.

Final Words

It's all about turning a potentially negative interaction into an opportunity to showcase your commitment to customer service.

Remember, the goal is to make them happy so they come back. It's not just about meeting expectations; it's about going above and beyond. 

Even if they're not technically right, if they feel heard and respected, that's what matters at the end of the day.


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.


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