Customers with a complaint can turn into your most loyal advocates.  They will probably become repeat buyers and will generate more sales for you than you can measure.   How can I say that?

  1. People remember a good experience
  2. Any customer interaction is a chance to upsell
  3. A customer support issue is an opportunity to stay in touch
  4. Your marketing can be adjusted to the requirements of your buyers because you know what they want!


But let’s face it – it’s a challenge to turn them around.   Nobody enjoys having to deal with a frustrated caller.  Let’s be honest, some people are downright rude when they speak to a customer support representative.  Possibly callers are even more upset nowadays because they have probably tried all the self-help options available and haven’t received the help they need. Here’s the thing – support bots simply don’t have that human touch or the ability to swing a negative into a positive experience for you clients.   I find chatbots and call-centre options highly frustrating….

Don’t overlook the value which problem solving brings to your business.  You can turn a frustrated customer into your most loyal supporter by using these simple techniques:



Listening is probably the most effective way of building a good relationship.   It’s getting the know the person you are speaking to and letting them know that you are taking them seriously.   People feel valued and respected when they can express themselves.


Acknowledge that there is a problem

Even if the customer has unrealistic expectations, if they are unhappy with your product or service there is a problem!  Sometimes by the time they speak to you the problem is simply irritation because they have an enquiry which hasn’t been answered by the FAQs on your website.  Or they have tried and tried to troubleshoot, and the support bot has started referring them back to those same FAQs repeatedly.    I know this has happened to me, and yes – it is highly irritating.

Stick to the old adage “the customer is always right”.



Empathy shows that you really understand.  This is how good relationships are built.    It’s also the communication technique which is most effective in business communication.


A little humour

If you feel humour is appropriate, you can lighten the situation immediately.   But it’s important to assess whether your caller will be receptive to a little joke or shares your sense of humour.


Thank your customer

Your business actually benefits from every issue which is brought to your attention.   It gives you the information you need to improve.  It identifies where a solution is needed.

You can also learn what messaging to use in outbound communication, such as social media posts and information provided on your website and those dreaded FAQs.   Letting your customers know that a problem has been identified and a solution is in progress can ensure that they’re willing to wait instead of looking for a similar product or service.


Follow up

Take the opportunity to strengthen your relationships and remind the customer that you care.  This is how you turn a complainer into a supporter and advocate who will give you a good review.


Seize the moment

Your customer may be dissatisfied because the product or service does not offer the functionality they need.   There will never be a better time to increase the bottom line than when you have identified a need which you can fulfil.

Of course, this is not always the case, but this is also the time when you can show that your business puts the customer first, values their business and respects their needs.

Customers remember a business that goes the extra mile to solve their problems.   Show that you always put the customer first and the rewards will follow.


Photo by Jopwell from Pexels