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Home Customer Service How to Turn Dissatisfied Customers Into Happy Ones

How to Turn Dissatisfied Customers Into Happy Ones

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Every business owner knows the value of a happy customer. But every business owner also knows that even the best customer service can slip up at some point. Regardless of the reason for the upset, if a customer is angry at you/your business, you need to come up with a solution. The way you handle these missteps is one of the biggest differentiators between you and your competitors.

When customers are dissatisfied, they want to know that their concerns are being taken seriously. Some companies treat disgruntled customers as if they are a distraction or a nuisance. Many others apologize but don’t take meaningful action to correct the situation. Both types of responses will almost certainly cause you to lose their business.

If you find yourself receiving poor customer reviews and losing business, it may be time to reassess how you handle customers when they share their complaints. The following tips can help you get back in good graces with dissatisfied customers:

1) Adapt to your customers

Customers are people, and everyone reacts to unexpected setbacks differently. While some customers get angry and readily express their frustrations, others may be more passive in their responses. Being able to read your customers’ body language (tone of voice, facial expressions, etc.) is just as important as listening to what they are saying. Adjust your response appropriately to show that you hear and validate their concerns. Reading and responding to customers based on their individual needs will help you find what makes them happy and what will remedy the situation.

2) Be empathetic and genuine

 Again, customers are people. When they reach out to you to share their less-than-stellar experience, they want to feel that you care. By truly listening to them, showing empathy, and making a human connection with them, the customer will feel understood and will know that you see them as more than just an angry face. Being genuine in your response to them will go a long way toward securing them as repeat customers.

3) Accept responsibility and make things right

 If something goes wrong, do not try to justify the error or place blame on someone or something else. This will leave a negative impression about you and your business as a whole. Instead, apologize and accept responsibility. Also, take the next step to make the situation right. Remember – the cost of losing their business is far worse than the cost of re-making their item, giving them a refund, offering them store credit, etc.

Don’t look at these corrections as expenses – look at them as investments. If you address customers’ concerns in a way that makes them happy, you’ll recoup these costs again and again through their repeat business and referrals.

The saying “the customer is always right” is often misinterpreted. It doesn’t mean that customers can get away with saying and doing anything they want. Instead, it means that if your customers tell you that you’re doing something wrong, you are doing something wrong. More often than not, they aren’t complaining because they’re bored – they see things that you are missing or could be doing better. These observations are worth listening to and will help you improve your business.


Heather Yakes is an internationally recognized business coach and employee engagement expert ranking in the Top 10 in the U.S. & Top 100 worldwide. Heather is the recipient of the 2016 Business Excellence Awards Coach of the Year, the 2018 ActionMan Award for the Best Client Impact, and the 2018 Franchisee of the Year Award. She has 20+ years of experience working with Fortune 500 Companies and Big 4 Consulting.