You can’t please everyone.

When you have an unhappy customer, your heart rate picks up. It makes you worry about what that they might be saying to their family and friends. What if they complain about your customer service?

What happens when they mention a particularly unpleasant customer experience? It might leave a nasty taste in their mouth, and cause problems for you.

Confronting someone who is upset is a risk. You risk losing more customers, degrading your reputation, and losing your mind (it’s so true!). Sadly, unhappy customers are inevitable. You can’t avoid upsetting someone. You might have to say that a coupon doesn’t work, or that you don’t carry the product they’re looking for. One of your employees might accidentally say something that offends a customer. You just cannot and will not please everyone all the time. How do you fix a bad customer experience and redeem your store?

How do I satisfy them?

What can you do to usher the unhappy people back into your store? How you handle the situation will change their opinion of your company drastically, even if they are hard to please. Here are a few tips that will help you soothe that discontented customer and leave a good taste in their mouth.

1. Listen!

Always listen more than you talk. Let them tell you what’s wrong, and try to understand why they’re so upset. Seeing things from their point of view always makes them feel like you care. If you know the details of the problem, you can find a thorough solution.

2. Think before you respond

Once you know the reason a customer is unhappy, you can find a way to help them. Did someone offend them? Was your customer service a problem? Maybe they were confused about the way a sale worked.

3. Be sincere

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to help them, come up with a strategy. If you have a solution, present it clearly to the customer. The way you act will help set the tone – the more respectful and calm you are, the more smoothly the conversation will run. If you aren’t skilled with being diplomatic, explain the situation to someone who is. It is always good to have an employee that is particularly good at handling heated conversations.

4. Ask for feedback

Even if you can’t help them, ask for feedback. Learn the most from every situation. The more you learn, the more effectively you can help the next customer that has a similar problem. Experience, even if it’s not a good one, will help you prepare for the future. Think about how efficiently the situation was handled, and how long it took for a solution to be resolved. What can you do to improve on your process? Was there anything that the customer suggested?

It can be difficult!

If a customer is unhappy, it can be difficult to calm them down. Overall, it is your attitude and how you handle the situation that will make all the difference. Learn about the problem, find a good way to solve it, and sincerely try to help them. Always ask for feedback, so you can learn from the experience. The more you know, the more you can learn how to avoid problems.

Just remember: you can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try! Be prepared for the disgruntled customers, the angry moms, and pouting clients. They’ll show up when you least expect it. But hey – you’ll be ready.

How do you handle an unhappy customer or bad customer experience? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!