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Effective 5 Step Strategy for Dealing with Angry Customers

customer care tips

Really, really angry customer...

Regardless of what industry you are in, if you have clients, you will be at some point in time, faced with the prospect of facing an angry and unsatisfied customer. This is something virtually every business is prone to no matter how efficient their customer support might be.

Having an angry customer is an unavoidable fact. What is avoidable is to keep them that way. In this post we will be discussing some effective strategies on how to deal with angry customers. Businesses will find this information very helpful in order to provide better customer service to their clients.

Determine the Reason

Angry customers will have a very reasonable explanation for their behavior. It is your job, as business representatives, to find out exactly why they are upset about. This initiation will calm them down and tell them that they will be heard. Pay attention to everything they say. Ask questions if you need more information. Find out exactly what is their cause of concern. Whether it’s a defective product or unsatisfactory service, it is your responsibility to get to address your customers concern and queries in a proper and proficient manner.

Admit Your Mistake

Many companies especially name brand businesses shy away from admitting their mistake thinking that it will lower their credibility. This is a wrong approach. In fact admitting your mistake does not lower your business’s credibility. Not responding to your customer’s complaint is! After listening to the angry customer, if the problem is indeed on your side, then admit your mistake. This will calm them down. Most of the time, the customers are looking for an admission of guilt rather than a compensation.

Apologize to the Customer

Now that you know what’s wrong and why, its time to start making amends. The priority here should be to retain the customer, not to push them away. An apology shall not only kick start the recovery process, it will also create a good impression on the customer and compel them to keep doing business with you.

Fix the Problem

An apology won’t go far unless the problem is resolved. Determine the best course of action and keep the customer in the loop. A big part of good customer service is solving problems. Whether it’s replacing a product, giving a full refund or providing a new service, find out what’s best for the customer and then close the issue.

Seal the Deal with Assurance

Retaining old clients should be just as important to a company as retaining new ones. With that in mind, assure the angry customer that this type of mistake will never happen again and tell them that you value their business. This will leave an everlasting impression.

No business can afford to lose customers regardless of how strong their clientele is. If getting new clients is a skill then retaining old ones is an art. This is why precisely why businesses invest heavily in customer support departments to make their company more reachable and marketable. It’s all about impressions and how much a company cares about its clients.

About the Author: Alex Finlay is a design consultant with 10+ years of marketing experience, mostly with start-up companies. He helps start-ups create a brand image and grow their online presence. Alex has been working with LogoDesignGuru on many online marketing projects, providing brand identity solutions for small businesses.

Image: worak / Flickr

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This article is one of the excellent contributions from small business owners, decision makers and professionals.

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  • Elaine,

    To chime in, I agree to those saying that acquiring new customers cost twice as much as retaining old ones…

  • Genie,

    Indeed, arguing wastes time and energy. There are ways to avoid arguments at all cost – and they are worth pursuing :)

  • DesignFirms,

    I know what you mean… nevertheless, the strategies are worth doing, except if you are dealing with angry AND high-maintenance customers (you might want to fire such customers… lol.)

  • I’ve found that nine times out of ten, it was the customer’s error to begin with – especially if the business has a solid system in place. While we can’t think of everything, there will be errors and you hit the nail on the head – no matter how good the product or service is, being human is the best way to solve any issue! Sharing this on our Echo and FB pages!

  • Genie Smith

    Hi, I am an small business owner. I usually deal with my customers easily. If i found my fault then i agree with customer and do an appropriate deal with customer. But some customers come to my place just for arguing. I don’t show my interest in arguing. So in that situation i fell helpless. These above strategies to deal with customers will be helpful for me. Thanks for sharing.

  • I really enjoyed this post Alex,
    I especially love your comment – “If getting new clients is a skill then retaining old ones is an art.” Many biz owners think they have to constantly look for new clients, when they can seek new business with existing or old clients. And we must not forget, they are our advocates and part of our sales and marketing team. Build the tribe!
    Great post!

  • I really like this post Alex. You have made some great points and I completely agree with the admitting the mistake – I had to complain about something recently and the minute they admitted they had made a mistake that was fine with me – the fact they then made a partial refund was all the better. Thanks for sharing on

  • Whether a customer is angry or happy, first thing to be remembered is that he/she is a customer so (special) attention must be paid, or you will be losing your customers which is not healthy for business as you must have heard that ‘customer is always right’. Your attitude must be positive, offer a glass of water/juice, try to make him/her calm and listen to them in detail.