When you work in a customer service position, it is impossible to avoid customers who are less than happy.

Dealing with difficult customers is obviously not enjoyable, but unfortunately, it is often necessary. Even if a customer becomes unprofessional or obnoxious, it is important  that you  remember to remain nonreactive. Instead, when a customer angrily or unhappily engages with you, look for ways to proactively de-escalate the situation.

It is important to remember that you have no control over what is going on in someone's life, or what has happened in their past that may be negatively affecting their mood, but you do have control over what happens during their conversation with you.

Due to this, staying polite is incredibly important.  In this blog we will review the best and worst ways to approach or respond to an unhappy customer.

The Steps to Handling A Customer Complaint

It is true that smiles are infectious, so this small gesture may bring about enough positivity to lift their mood. Here are some other ways to effectively handle displeased customers in most situations:

1.  Kill them with kindness
2. Keep a smile on your face
3. Remember they’re most likely not upset with you
4. Genuinely listen to their concerns

customer service

It cannot be helped if someone is upset or complaining, but you can always turn the situation around. There are some ways, however, that can escalate the situation in a negative way. By avoiding these issues you can guarantee that your situation will not take a turn for the worse. The following are some behaviors and responses to avoid when dealing with a complaining customer:

  • Get upset yourself
  • Argue and fight back against the customer
  • Act rudely
  • Act as if you couldn’t care less about them or their problems

Key Points

Remember, everyone is going to have a complaint every now and then, but how you deal with their complaint is what will likely turn a negative situation into a positive one. In addition, by keeping a level head, being polite, and listening to your customer, you can feel confident that they you have put your best foot forward, which is the best that anyone can ask for. 


Dexcomm is a Louisiana-based corporation that provides answering services to businesses and service agencies across the United States. We have been open since 1954, employ a staff of roughly 80 people, and our average client retention rate is 10+ years.

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Read More About The Author: Elisabeth Gurdián