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What To Do When Your Customers Are Mad At You!

For your business to thrive you’re going to need plenty of happy customers. However, in the real world things happen and can go wrong, and make getting 100% customer satisfaction unattainable. The good news is there are some strategies you can use to greatly improve the situation when a customer is mad at your business. Read on to find out what they are. 

Listen to what they are saying 

To start with, if a customer is mad at your business, you must listen to what they are saying. Indeed, there are many reasons why listening to the content of their words is important. The first of these is that you need to investigate their issue and discover why they are so upset. After all, you won’t be able to solve their problem for them if you don’t fully listen to the issues involved. 

To do this is best to practice active listening where possible. This means first listening to what people have to say, and then summarizing it back to them. This can help them feel heard which is essential in repairing the customer relationship in this instance. It also ensures that you get to the real truth of the problem and understand it from their perspective.

This can be very useful as it stops the person doing the listening from putting their own biases and preconceptions (both positive and negative) on the issue, and so provides a more accurate view of the problem. 

Secondly, listening to a customer who is complaining is vital because it provides your business with incredibly important information you will need to improve and grow. For example, if one customer is complaining of an issue such as an item being broken when it arrives, likely, other customers are likely also experiencing this issue.

Therefore by listening to this customer you can improve your packaging and delivery process and avoid this from happening to multiple customers in the future, ensuring that they receive the best experience possible shop with you again and leave you good reviews. 

Remember that It is also vital that when practising active listening you stay calm. While it can be hard to hear criticism of your work or that of your business, getting angry will only continue to escalate the situation rather than repair it. 


Apologies can be tricky, as some people don’t like to give them. They can also come across as genuine as well, and such an apology is likely to do little to mend a damaged customer relationship. However, apologies are important when a customer is mad at you, and if done correctly can help calm some of their fervor, and de-escalate the situation. 

The tone of the apology you give is crucial here and it must be done in such a way for the customer to feel that the person giving it has heard them, and is responding to them as an individual and a human being. That means stock scripts are a no-no here and each apology needs to be crafted for the specific situation, and person involved. 

On the other hand, apologies shouldn’t be crawling or desperate either, as this can be equally off-putting and reflect your business in a poor light. For some more information about how to hit the right notes when making an apology to a customer, check out the info in the video below.

Make it right 

The next thing you need to do when a customer is mad at you is to make the situation right. This usually includes some type of reparative action such as a refund or discount for the product, or delivery, or even a voucher for future use.

Indeed, if a customer purchases an item that breaks in use, providing a voucher for a new item to be purchased from your store can help resolve the problem and ensure that they do not take their business elsewhere. 

Of course, you will also need to make sure that customers genuinely have a problem that requires a refund or discount to protect your company from false claims. The trick here is to make it as easy as possible for genuine customers to provide this evidence without inconveniencing them, as they have already been inconvenienced and are angry.

Usually, the best way to do this is not to ask them to return the item but to take a picture of it with their smartphone and send those to you instead. 

Deal with the online fallout 

Another thing you’ll need to do if your customer is mad at you is deal with the online fallout. Yes, that’s right I’m talking about reviews and negative comments on social media and online. The problem here is that people are always most motivated to leave comments online if they have had an experience that is extreme either positive or negative.

Of course, this is good news if you are doing things right because it means you are more likely to get comments praising your business, product, and customer service. 

However, it also means that if a customer has had a more negative experience they are much more likely to take their grievance online and display it where other potential customers can see it and get put off. 

Fortunately, there are some things you can do if your customer is posting negative things about you online. The first of these is to make sure you properly monitor online mentions of your business and products so you can catch any issue quickly before they do too much damage. 

The second is to use the tactics above such as listening, apologizing and making things right. Indeed, if you can do some of this publicly online you will not only help calm your customer but will also show other potential customers that your business cares about their experience and can be trusted. 

You may also choose to work with a professional repair online reputation that can do many of these tasks for you. Indeed an expert online reputation repair specialist can perform many actions from boosting your online rating and reviews, managing your social media accounts, and even lowering the visibility of negative content.

All of these can help ameliorate the fallout of such negative customer incidents and ensure your business’s reputation stays intact online. 

Improve customer experience 

Last of all, over the medium to long term it’s crucial that you take the information that you have gained by dealing with an angry customer and use this to improve your overall customer experience.

Remember that negative comments can turn into gold in the long term because they point to the places in which your company is failing your customers, so you can use them to target the areas you need to improve. Indeed, your customers know best what it is like to be a customer of your business and so they are a hugely important resource. 

Additionally, smart businesses looking to succeed over the long term will choose to extend this idea by making their entire approach to doing business more customer-focused. This involves looking at every stage of customer interaction, from the customer’s viewpoint. This empathy and perspective can help you devise products, systems and services that not only please your customers but anticipate and fulfil their needs before they have presented as an issue.

In this way, you can greatly reduce the number of angry customers you have to deal with, and instead boost the number of customers that are delighted, and impressed by your company.

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