10 Resolution Tips for Irate Customers


Beyond being incredibly passionate for helping customers, there are many ways to not only deal with customers- but make them advocates. I have said previously that customers that show any extreme emotion are capable of showing the same level of emotion on the opposite spectrum: elated- furious. Acknowledging that customers control your business will help you understand the need to calm customers down, resolve their issue, and make a strong advocate for your business.

  1. Never treat an upset customer like they are an inconvenience to you.
  2. Acknowledge their problem by reconfirming what’s going on so they know you care, avoid sounding like a robot.
  3. Let the customer know “you will do everything you can to resolve their issue TOGETHER.”
  4. Sympathize and explain you understand why they are upset, but don’t bash your business.
  5. If you need time to resolve the issue, explain to them that if they can be flexible and give you some time it will help you allocate resources to get the best outcome.
  6. Despite a customer having the same problem as the last 20, handle them the same you did for the first.
  7. Avoid using the following phrases:
  • Like I said
  • We can’t
  • I won’t
  • You shouldn’t
  • Why didn’t’ you
  • That’s not my problem
  • Okay, again I said…

8. Use phrases like:

  • Right, so we can absolutely do this….
  • Here is what I can do for you…
  • I would love to…
  • Did you have the time to try…
  • Your business is important to me…
  • I know you’re upset with the situation; I want you to know I am here to help you…

9. Even when delivering difficult news, explain the whys when relevant and reiterate how much you care about their business.
10. Ensure you have exhausted as many resources as time allows helping keep this customer.

I won’t bore you with generic data about how many customers are impacted by a negative situation- we all know it’s a lot. When you are dealing with an extremely upset customer, understand that Facebook and other social media outlets are right at the disposal of their fingertips. Help utilize do’s and don’ts phrases listed above with your team if you are in a hurry, and ensure they are developing daily!

-Michael Dooley





2 thoughts on “10 Resolution Tips for Irate Customers

  1. I would just like to say that when I have had difficulties as a customer and have been treated the way you have outlined here, it makes me very loyal. I feel good about that company from then on, and say so.

    One small typo in there, however, I believe you are missing the word “don’t” between “but” and “bash” in point 4. 🙂

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