How to Manage Difficult & Angry Customers

In a perfect world, you'd make every single customer as happy as can be😁.

They'd leave your store with a massive grin on their face, excited to tell all their friends about you, your amazing store, and your must-have products. And they'd be back at your store, time and time again.

But it's not an ideal world, and as hard as you try, irate customers will come your way. The only question is: how are you going to deal with them?

Because here's the reality: How your biz reacts can make or break the perception of your brand. And at the end of the day, if you've worked so hard to build that brand, the last thing you want is someone telling everyone they know about their terrible experience.

So if you want to avoid all the upset and tears, it's time to put together a solid plan on how your business deals with tricky shoppers.

⭐Let's get started!⭐

Prevent creating angry customers

Prevention is better than a cure, right? Now, of course, you'll never be able to make everyone in the world happy (only chocolate can do that), but you can work to avoid upsetting customers in the first place!

Do you have a crystal clear returns policy? Do the shipping times on your site line up with your delivery time? Are you selling the best quality products you can find? Have you trained your front-of-house and customer support staff on dealing with an irate shopper?

Knowing how to deescalate a tense situation can mean the difference between a major blow-out and a small fixable problem.

Have a plan

An angry customer walks through your door right now - what's your plan to deal with this?

If you don't know, it's time to make a plan. And write it down! Ensure everyone who works in the biz knows the procedure, so you're all on the same page.

Listen, listen, and listen a little more

An angry customer wants you to hear them so let them vent and don't interrupt. Listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it - what are the emotions behind their words?

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Are they frustrated? Disappointed? Listen intently, and don't just wait for your turn to talk.

Don't take it personally

I know, I know. An attack on your brand can feel like an attack on YOU. And our natural instinct when attacked is to fight back! But in this situation, that's the worst thing you can do.

Being rude, sarcastic, or demeaning will only escalate the situation.

Instead, you want to....


Remain calm, use positive language, and meet them where they are emotionally.

You might disagree with the woman at the counter shouting about how her new dress split the first time she wore it to a party. Is it necessary to raise your voice at someone over that or accuse your brand of selling poor-quality items? No, of course not!

But you can empathize with how embarrassed she must have felt when that happened. So speak from that place of understanding.

Apologize and offer solutions

Once the customer has finished venting, apologize quickly and sincerely. Acknowledge and validate their feelings, so they know you've listened to them. Admit what happened if the mistake was on the business side and explain how you plan to prevent it in the future.

Once you've done that, you'll want to offer a solution to their problem. Super important here: whatever you promise, you MUST deliver - you're trying to save the brand rep here!

Cultivate a growth mindset

A few unhappy customers don't mean that you fail as a business owner. It means that there is room for improvement and optimization.

You can choose to adopt a mindset where you use complaints as insights to grow, or you can choose to ignore them and blame the customer. That one is up to you!

Final Thoughts

Before you can deal with other angry people, you first need to know how to deal with your own angry feelings. Otherwise, the moment someone else gets upset, it will trigger you- and that's not a good place to be.

So work on your plan and prepare your staff but don't forget to work on your own conflict skills too so you can be a shining example for other business owners!

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