Five Ways to Deal with Customers Who Can’t Be Pleased

By Tammy Levent

The customer who can’t be pleased, we’ve all dealt with them at one point or another. No matter what we say or do they have an axe to grind even if it’s not our fault. Sadly, agents, especially new agents, spend way too long trying to make things right even past the point that it becomes abundantly clear that they will never be able to satisfy the customer. Here are five ways to deal with those customers who can’t be pleased:

  1. First and foremost, keep calm. It may not seem like the easiest thing to do, but this is crucial. Don’t take it personally and do your best to take emotion out of the situation. This is just a person who has a problem with your business, not you. And in all honesty, they might not have a problem with your business either, it could just be they are having a rough time in their life and are mad at the world.
  2. Apologize but don’t accept blame. You know that saying “the customer is always right, even when they’re wrong”- that applies here. You could simply say something like, “I’m so sorry you had that experience,” or “I apologize that this happened to you.” Be sincere and listen intently to ensure that you have a firm grasp on exactly what happened and why they are so upset.
  3. Ask them what they want. Maybe the reason, the real reason, they are upset is you offered a solution without actually asking them what they hoped to get to rectify the situation. If you can give them what they ask for, do it and be done with it. If you can’t though, explain why. For example, if your client comes back from a week-long vacation complaining they hated the entire trip and want all of their money back, obviously you can’t do that. At most you might be able to get the hotel to credit them for another trip, but you can’t refund the airfare or other fees. Besides, if they were having that bad of a time they should have contacted you at the first sign of trouble, not after it was all over!
  4. Offer an alternative solution. If you have realized you can’t give the customer what they asked for, see if there is any alternative that would smooth over their frustration.
  5. Give up and recommend a competitor. There is going to come a point where you have to give up. Spending weeks on end to try to make a customer happy is costing you too much time and as a result money. Let them go and focus on the customers you still have and work extra hard to keep them happy.