How To Transition Unhappy Customers


You can never understand every customer’s expectations. No matter how perfect your customer service plan is, there will always be someone unhappy about something - food, staff, or environment. If such a situation arises, you must be prepared to deal professionally.   

Are you interested to know some subtle techniques to make your unhappy customers feel otherwise? Read on to find out! 

Active listening is the key   

Here is the magical technique to calm your uncomforted customer - listen to your customer’s complaint/s with sheer attention. Even if the customer has put forth some queer demand, listen to him/her calmly and do not show any sign of annoyance or distraction. If the customer is made to believe that he or she is really being listened to and is understood, half of the problem is resolved in the customer’s introspection.    

Do not reciprocate the angry emotion 

Stay neutral regardless of the context of the situation. Your response to a complaining customer should be a calm attitude. If you argue back with your angry customer, this will only escalate the heat. An argument will not go unseen by other customers and will make them uncomfortable. You certainly don’t want that. Repeat your customer’s complaint in a neutral tone. A lower, calm tone convinces the customer that he/she is being taken seriously which helps ease off the things.  

Don’t be over-empathetic  

Do not show any emotion while you listen to the complaint/s from your customer. Expressing emotions such as grief for their problem can be easily misinterpreted as condescension or phony behavior. To avoid looking like a pretentious person, stay neutral. Keep your facial expressions neutral and speak with an even tone. Show empathy while keeping in safe limits.  

Present the solution promptly 

Listen actively and act promptly. The customer should be presented with the solution to their problem instantly. Make sure your customer is pleased with the solution. If the customers see a quick solution for their problem/s, you might make them your loyal customer. It’s human nature to feel affiliated with a place or a person where they are valued. Next time you get an angry customer, amaze them with your problem-solving skills and make them want to come back again. 

Win over with the lower voice  

Behavioral studies have shown that humans reciprocate each other’s tones. You can use this fact to your advantage. If your customer is about to catch rage on some discomfort or not finding something to his or her expectation, the first thing you must do is - stay neutral and speak calmly. Seeing you talking in a lower voice, your customer will subconsciously try to match your tone and a situation lead to a solution without turning into a bitter scene.  

Ask open-ended questions 

You can try asking open-ended questions after the problem has been resolved. The questions should be casual and must not look like you are coaxing your customers to feel good about the whole thing. You may ask: ‘Which dish you liked the most?’ You can quote some special information about that dish. You can talk about a special ingredient that your chef adds to this dish. A light conversation takes the heat further off your customer’s mind. And you may see your customers walk away with a happy face. 

The basic rule of customer service 

Sometimes, the customers’ complaint/s might sound outright ridiculous but a customer is always right. Your concern should be your customer’s happiness not the nature of the complaint. You must understand that most of the customers are hungry for food and quality time which makes them notice petty issues. Let them know you care and be not afraid to go all-out to resolve your customer’s problem.  

A well-handled situation also puts a good impression on other customers witnessing the event in the restaurant. Never take it personally or feel negative about such events. Instead, learn from the experience and enjoy your next shift with a bright attitude and fresh enthusiasm.    

Use these techniques whenever you are faced with an angry customer and see the magic happen!  

Have you ever turned an unpleased customer into a smiley face? Share your techniques with us.  

Leave a Comment