No matter what business you’re in, if you sell something (whether a product or a service), one day you’ll deal with an angry customer. It’s best to plan ahead how you’ll respond, or how you want your customer service representatives to respond.

Never Say No

Try to rephrase any “no” answers so that you don’t say anything negative. Instead of “no we can’t upgrade for that price” you might say something like “Upgrades cost xx dollars, we can do that for you immediately if you’d like.” Using a kind voice will go a long way to helping calm down a customer.

Speak Slowly, Quietly, and Calmly

Take a tip from the Duggar’s parenting lessons. Momma Duggar stated on TV one time on a Q&A show that she speaks quietly to the children rather than yelling because it makes them quieten down and listen harder. This can work for your angry customers too.

Fire Abusive Customers

This may not sound that positive on the surface but the truth is, sometimes you have to fire a customer to keep the peace for your business. The best way to do that is to give them a full refund, let them keep whatever they have, and give them a nice apology letter. “I’m sorry we can’t work together, but here is a refund; please keep what you have as a free parting gift.”

Take a Breath

Sometimes it’s hard not to allow emotions to get the best of us. But, business is not supposed to be emotional. Yes, of course it really is, but if you think about it from the consumer’s perspective, they are feeling cheated in some way and it’s your job to not take it personally and figure out what you can do to make it better and prevent this from happening in the future. So, take a breath and deal with it by the numbers, not the emotions.

Ask: Is It Worth a Response?

Sometimes angry people put nasty things on social media. You have to decide each time whether it is worth responding, and whether you can do so in a positive way. Do not respond in a passive-aggressive way, but a truly positive, putting the customer first, way. If you can’t, then don’t respond to it. If you think it’s abusive, and you have the power, delete the comment without any response.

Respond Fast

Letting an angry customer fester is a big mistake. You want to take a breath, count to ten, and then deal with it. If you have a process in place, it’s going to make life much easier. One good way to deal with problem customers is to fix the problem if possible. If you can’t, give a refund, but whatever you do respond fast. You can use an autoresponder to respond first, with a note telling how long it’ll be to deal with the problem. This will reduce the chance of the customer feeling as if they’re waiting forever.

Be Human

It’s tempting with all the systems in place, and the processes you likely use, to be kind of like a robot. But, this is not going to serve anyone. Instead you need to really listen to what your customer is saying, and then pick the good parts that you can fix to respond to. Leave the rest for later if it should come up again.


Customers will tell you exactly how you can help them and make it better. If it’s a refund, that’s fine. If it’s something else, that’s great. Listen, repeat back to the customer what you’ve heard them saying, then do what you can to satisfy what they desire.

Dealing with angry customers is not fun, especially today with the public nature of customer service on social media. But, it’s going to happen. If you’re making any sort of progress making money in any business today, you will eventually have a customer who is angry. Deal with it head on in the most positive way that you can muster.

How to Handle Angry Customers in a Positive Way
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