What to Do About an Unhappy Client

Much like unhappy employees, unhappy customers are unfortunately an inevitability when running a business. No matter how hard you try to deliver high-quality products and excellent customer service, all it takes is one off day or one customer with too-high expectations to leave feeling disappointed. Depending on the circumstances, this could leave you with lost business and even a damaged reputation.

The key is understanding how to respond appropriately to a dissatisfied customer. There are certain ways you will want to approach the situation to minimize the damage, avoid further complications, and prevent similar things from occurring in the future. Be sure to obtain New Jersey Business Insurance so you are financially protected in the event a claim is filed against you, and follow these tips.


When dealing with complex or emotional conversations, engage using one-to-one communication. Avoid writing your response. Request a face-to-face meeting or a phone call to communicate empathy and concern. You can’t do this nearly as effectively via letter or email. You should also address the problem as soon as possible.

Customer Concerns

When you speak with your client, focus on their grievance. Ask clarifying questions and seek to understand. Do not begin by justifying yourself; rather, really try to see the issue from your client’s point of view. Most people do not voice a concern without a justifiable reason, so try to understand the reason for your client’s concern.

Use active listening skills and provide feedback about what you believe you heard the concern to be. Allow the client to correct you. Restate your client’s concern based on your new understanding. Continue this process until the client says, “That’s right. You’ve got it.” You may realize there was a simple misunderstanding and have a good breakthrough.


If you agree that the client has a valid concern, acknowledge it. Agree to do the work to correct the situation free of charge. Do whatever is necessary to fix things and provide excellent customer service.

Even if you still disagree with your client’s point of view, acknowledge they are upset and apologize that there was a misunderstanding. Explain your point of view in a non-defensive manner, and without the slightest bit of hostility. Try to bring to the discussion new information of which your client is not aware; or cast the known information in a different light to reiterate what they know with a new prospective.


Even if you think your actions were completely justified, give your client a peace offering. Offering nothing says you are right and the client is wrong. Even if this is true, you’ll lose in the long run. The client may not always be right, but the client is always the client and the one who writes your paycheck. Take the opportunity to create a loyal customer.

About Provident Protection Plus

At Provident Protection Plus, we have served the businesses and residents of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania for more than 65 years. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Provident Bank, the region’s premier banking institution, and we are prepared to offer you personal, business, employee benefit, and risk management solutions. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526.