How To Handle the Unhappy Customer

They say that the customer is always right, and in some cases this can be true. Today, however, employees in retail get so frustrated by unhappy customers and their rude behavior that they would rather argue back than find a way to make the customer satisfied. Although there a few customers who will never be happy no matter what you do, your goal as a retail worker is to placate the customer and minimize the conflict that could arise from this situation. Read on to find out how to handle an unhappy customer.

  1. Stay calm, cool, and collected. It is annoying when unhappy customers are rude, and chances are, your first instinct would be to snap back. But keep yourself from doing so. Arguing back will not make the situation any better. Rise above the customer by staying calm. One way you can keep your head clear is to detach yourself from the situation and try to view it the way an outsider would.
  2. Allow the customer to explain him or herself. Listen to the customer and try to figure out where the problem is coming from.
  3. Don't take it personally. While unhappy customers may be verbally abusive, remember that their anger is not directed towards you.
  4. If the issue something you can resolve immediately yourself, do so and apologize, or suggest other options and solutions.
  5. If the issue is something that lies beyond your expertise, contact your supervisor or manager and ask for help. They have the authority to give the go signal on things like price modifying or refunds.
  6. Do not offer the customer any refunds, discounts, additional offers, or freebies unless a higher-up says you can. Doing so, only for the customer to find out that your offer is invalid, will make him or her angrier and lose trust in your company or store. And the last thing you want is to get fired trying to help a customer.
  7. Always remain friendly and pleasant to the customer even if you think their complaint is completely ridiculous. Save your ranting and your remarks for your cigarette break with your employees. If the customer is being too emotional or verbally abusive for you to handle, call a coworker or your manager to help you handle the situation.
  8. Never try to send irate customers away by asking them to read the store policy guidelines. This is a very impersonal way of dealing with unhappy customers and shows that you don't care. Remember, your behavior is a reflection of the company.

 Remember, each customer that patronizes your company is unique with their own unique concerns.  Put yourself in their shoes - wouldn't you be irate and frustrated too if a certain service went wrong or if a product failed to meet expectations? Just stay calm and cool-headed when dealing with unhappy customers, and the situation will blow over before you know it.


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