How To Deal With Dissatisfied Customers

A dissatisfied customer shouting
A dissatisfied customer shouting

A dissatisfied customer is one who feels a business did not provide a product or service as expected.

Customer dissatisfaction happens when your product or service falls beyond your customer’s expectations or has many shortcomings.

2 Major Reasons for Customer Dissatisfaction

1. Not knowing the customer’s expectations.

2. Not meeting the customer’s expectations: This occurs in various ways

  • A customer becomes dissatisfied when the product or service did not meet their expectations.
  • A customer becomes dissatisfied when he/she compares the services provided by a company with the competitors.
  • When a company overpromises and doesn’t meet up to those promises.

That is,

If the value of the service/product is less than what the customer expects, it will lead to dissatisfied customers.

(Value delivered < Value expected ) = Dissatisfied Customer

Some common causes of dissatisfied customers

Poor quality of products/services.

● Pricing.

● Inadequate/false product description.

● Poor customer service.

● Misleading/Hidden product information.

Slow service.

● Poor accessibility.

● Profit-oriented business rather than customer-centric.

How To Deal With Dissatisfied Customers

1. Listen Actively

A man and a woman talking

Active listening means concentrating on everything the customer is saying, so you have a clear understanding of why they’re dissatisfied. Passive listening means only absorbing part of the message, and not paying full attention to the emotions behind their communication.

Here’s how to practice active listening:

● Give the customer your full attention.

● Focus on their emotions

● Don’t allow anything to interrupt your conversation.

● Focus on the words they are communicating, not their anger or displeasure

● Resist the urge to solve the problem right away or to jump to conclusions about what happened. Allow your customer to tell you their story instead.

● Don’t think about what you’ll say after they’ve finished talking.

2. Repeat their concerns

A woman trying to solve the issues of two dissatisfied customers.

Once you have listened to the customer, the next thing to do is repeat their concerns so you are sure you are addressing the right issues and this also shows that you actively listened to the customer.

When repeating the customer’s concerns be calm, and use objective wording. For example “ As I understand you are quite upset because we didn’t give we didn’t deliver your order on Thursday like we said we would”

This shows that you are listening and it will help you and the customer agree on the problems that need to be solved.

3. Apologize for the mistake

A girl saying apologizing with a sad face

Apologize with your words, your body language and also be empathic about it.

When apologizing, maintain a calm tone of voice, use the customer’s name, do not be angry, and avoid the use of negative language.

4. Offer a solution

There are various ways to offer a solution

  • You can offer the solution,
  • The problem may be from the customer and the customer may have to solve the problem with your help or
  • The issue may need to be solved by higher-ups.

5. Take action

After explaining the solution to the customer, take action based on that solution. Explain each step that will be taken to solve the problem and give the customer the amount of time it will take to solve the problem.

6. Follow up

An image showing free 30 days trial

After resolving the customer’s issue, you should always follow up with them to ensure that they have no further problems and are satisfied with the resolution.

When following up, a company may decide to provide the customer with additional benefits, such as a free service, discounts, gift certificates, or a written apology.

Customer follow-up is an important part of providing an excellent customer experience because it allows you to form strong bonds and relationships with your customers.

7. Use the feedback

An image showing showings sending their feedback.

To reduce the risk of this same issue from happening again, identify how the problem started in the first place, which department was at fault, what caused the problem, when it occurred and note if there is any problem with the sales process.


While dealing with dissatisfied customers can be tough, annoying, and unpleasant, dissatisfied customers can teach you a lot. It allows you to do better and gives you the opportunity to improve your customer experience.

About the Author: Esther Ilori

Esther Ilori has been a content writer since 2017 and she currently works as a Content Writer. She brings her years of experience to her current role where she is dedicated to educating and inspiring the world on how to effectively use content writing and digital marketing in various companies, careers and to achieve various goals. Links to her published articles can be found here. You can find Esther on LinkedInInstagramFacebook, or Twitter.

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