5 Tips for Dealing with Upset Customers

If you’re in business, you’ve probably or will eventually encounter unhappy customers. The key is learning to deliver delight and deal with unhappy customers, which is not always easy. This is especially common in the ecommerce industry, where customer expectations are high, as they demand a better online experience. 

Besides, retailers globally continue grappling with the current supply chain problems. Although this may feel like a sign of failure, it doesn’t have to be a calamity. By learning how to manage and handle these situations correctly, you can convert highly unhappy customers into ambassadors for your business. Sounds great, right? 

Below are the top tips for dealing with upset customers and leaving them feeling satisfied with the help of a virtual receptionist. 

Dealing with Upset Customers Tip #1: Remain Calm and Professional

Once you realize that your customer is unhappy, you first set yourself into a customer service mindset and remain calm and professional. This implies setting aside any feelings that your client has made an error, they are giving you unfair criticism, or the situation isn’t your fault. Be aware that your client is unhappy, and it’s up to you to provide a remedy by adjusting your mindset. You’ll give your all to address the current situation and focus on customer satisfaction.

Always remember that emotions are contagious and can cause one to make irrational decisions. Don’t let the client’s disappointment affect you negatively, and avoid being defensive. Instead, remain calm and professional, which will prepare you to solve the current issue methodically. 

Dealing with Upset Customers Tip #2: Remember the Customer is Frustrated with the Situation

When dealing with an upset customer, focus on their concerns and avoid making them personal. Ask clarifying questions and seek to understand instead of justifying yourself or your company. Try to put yourself in the client’s shoes and see the scenario from their point of view, as most won’t voice a concern without a viable reason. 

After listening and understanding your client’s grievances, show you understand the problem. The customer may correct you, and you should then restate their concerns based on the new understanding. Listen actively and ensure you apologize and sort the issue. 

image of a man yelling into a phone symbolizing how difficult it can be when dealing with upset customers

Dealing with Upset Customers Tip #3: Be as Helpful as Possible

When you listen, understand, acknowledge, and respect the client’s situation, you’ll easily resolve the issue. You can start by asking your client what you can do to correct the issue. Using these direct questions lets you quickly understand what the customer wants and align your expectations. If the client requests unreasonable solutions, you should always remain calm and offer alternatives to indicate you’re willing to work with them and resolve the issue. Try to be as helpful as possible since retaining a single customer is much more profitable than acquiring a new one. 

Dealing with Upset Customers Tip #4: Be Compassionate and Sympathetic

When a client comes or calls in unhappy, remember that you’re unaware of what’s happening in their lives. They could be dealing with a lot more than the current situation they’re unhappy about, and it’s always wise to be kind and put yourself in their shoes. You can start by apologizing to difficult customers, acknowledging the mistake, and letting them know you’re sorry. 

Being empathetic also helps guide your reaction and response to an unhappy client. It doesn’t necessarily imply agreeing with them; it means you completely understand how they feel and are willing to meet them where they are. This will help you relate with your unhappy customers on a more personal level, as empathy will help de-escalate the situation and show them you respect and are listening to them. 

Dealing with Upset Customers Tip #5: Act Positive

Sometimes, staying positive when dealing with an angry or negative customer can be challenging. The negative language will only worsen the situation. In contrast, the positive one is key to helping de-escalate a heated situation. Therefore, avoid using language that implies your client is wrong or one that makes them feel isolated. 

Even though the statements have some truth, the client doesn’t want to hear them now. Instead, positive language will help instill confidence in the client and turn a negative instance into a positive one. You can achieve this by defaulting to positive words such as “absolutely,” “definitely,” and “yes.”  Also, you can avoid using phrases and words such as “for your information,” “actually,” and “for your information,” as they make people feel silly and can often be viewed as aggressive. 

You should also use the customer’s name, as there’s power in a name that puts a face to the person you’re talking to. Using a customer’s name helps instill a solid level of personalization in the interaction, shows that you care, and reminds the client that you’re a real person. However, you should use their name sparingly to avoid making it too awkward. 

Dealing with Upset Customers Bonus Tip: Hire a Virtual Receptionist

When dealing with angry customers, you can always hire a virtual receptionist to handle them. How a virtual assistant handles these customers and calls makes all the difference to your business. A single happy client usually tells just one to three other individuals about their positive experience with your company. 

However, an unhappy one can easily tell 20 people about their negative experience and hundreds of others on social media platforms. A virtual receptionist is a trained and experienced individual who handles business on behalf of your company. They’re specially trained in dealing with unhappy customers and can be invaluable. They can act fast, show sympathy, and provide a real solution that makes a difference for your business. 

Some Benefits of Using a Virtual Receptionist

A virtual receptionist can help take your customer relationships to the next level as they are more effective than they could if working in person. A virtual receptionist is highly flexible in complex situations and trained to be on their feet when a client is unhappy, frustrated, confused, or disgruntled. In addition to calming down the client, they forward the concerns to the relevant departments, which can handle the situation and provide the best possible solution.

Additional benefits include: 

  • They are always available
  • They set a welcoming environment
  • They speed up customer intake
  • They’re trained to find opportunities in customer interactions
  • They’re trained for complex interactions

What to Look for in a Virtual Receptionist

Hiring the perfect virtual receptionist for your business frees time for more important tasks. It can also help improve the company’s customer service quality. This is especially crucial if your business often deals with unhappy customers. To help you find the most suitable virtual receptionist for your company, here are the main qualities to look out for:

  • Trained and professional
  • Experienced
  • Quick-witted and intelligent
  • Positive and friendly
  • Organized and a keen eye for detail
  • Knows how to take initiative
  • Reliable
  • Good communication skills
  • Time-management
  • Self-motivated

Use a Virtual Receptionist for Dealing with Upset Customers

Handling unhappy customers can be daunting, but if you can manage the situation well, you can improve your customer relationship and create further opportunities. You can easily achieve this by enlisting the services of a virtual receptionist who’s specially trained in dealing with upset customers. Click here to learn more about how a virtual receptionist can help improve your customer service. If you want more details or want to try it for yourself, click here to contact us and get started.

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