How To Handle A Negative Customer Experience in Top 9 Ways

Customer service is all about making your customer happy and satisfied with your service to ensure an enduring and fulfilling relationship.

However, almost every contact center makes this small mistake of thinking that having skilled agents, proper workforce management, good tools and management software like the best call center software are enough for providing customers with an exceptional service experience.

But let’s face it despite having these tools and trying your level best to meet a customer’s expectation it is beyond our control to always have a happy content customer.

Just like this saying that “the true test of any business’s customer service is not when the things are going right but rather what is done when things go wrong.”

There could be various reasons as to why your contact center is unable to satisfy their customer’s need. But as important it is to identify the reasons for negative customer experience, it is also essential to understand how to handle an unhappy customer.

However, the real challenge a contact center and their agents have when they have to look for ways to turn a negative experience into a positive one. But the question that most contact has is how to successfully achieve that?

So, in this article, we will try to find out the possible ways for changing a negative customer service experience into a good one and possibly earn your contact center some new customers and word-of-mouth.

Tips to handle a negative service experience:

1.    Find the root cause of the problem: It is necessary to understand that when a customer complains about a bad experience they can mention a variety of issues with which they are not satisfied with.

But one of the thing which is essential and a call center needs to understand when dealing with an unsatisfied customer is to find out the issue that is the root cause of the situation. So that an agent can offer a proper response to the problem rather than trying to address all the complaints at once that can add on to customer’s frustration.

2.    Apologize: This is most fundamental and probably the most critical step when dealing with an unhappy customer. Making a sincere heartfelt apology can help a business in retaining an unsatisfied customer and provide them with an opportunity to gain their trust back.

3.    Listen but do not argue: It’s important to understand when making an apology is that the journey of a masterful apology starts with active listening. An agent while interacting with an angry customer needs to realize that the customer is just taking out his frustration on him and needs to be heard.

Staying calm and letting the customer speak without arguing or interrupting the customer is the key to do the damage control. And it is also a way to show your customer that you care about their feelings and respect their views.

4.    Respond quickly: When a customer contacts a call center representative they expect a fast response. But, it becomes even more critical to reply to the customer immediately when they are dissatisfied with the service experience.

A quick response to the customer’s concern is a sign of showing appreciation towards the partnership your business has with the consumer. It also implies that the company actually pays attention and values their customer and do not consider them a mode of increasing their business.

5.    Always keep the customer updated: In a contact center, an agent has to deal with multiple client issues on daily basis. And most of the times the issues faced are simple or familiar to the agent which allows them to resolve it quickly.

But sometimes, it can happen that an agent comes across a complex issue which requires more information or resources to solve the problem. Mostly such issues become the cause of a bad service experience.

To handle such situation effectively and to avoid an escalation it is essential that the agent keeps the customer informed at all times about the progress on the issue. In that case, the customer is aware of the steps taken by the agent to get the issue fixed and it makes the customer feel valued.

6.    Take responsibility: When dealing with a bad customer experience the contact center agent needs to know that not every complaint is their fault but it is still important to take responsibility for it in order to try and convert it into a good service experience.

To be able to take control of the issue an agent need to look for the contribution they had in complicating the situation and figure out a solution for the customer. By taking responsibility you can ensure that customer can trust your contact center for their future business needs as well.

7.    Offer freebies: There is no doubt that offering a sincere apology is necessary but not enough when trying to recover from a bad customer service experience. What most contact centers do to please the customers is provide them with additional discounts or offers to compensate for their mistakes.

8.    Provide fix and Follow-up: There can be various reasons for a bad service experience like incompatibility, agent’s knowledge or skills,  high customer expectations etc but in most cases, it is due to the delay in resolving the issue.

Thus it becomes extremely important for the contact center manager to have their best performing and most experienced agent to handle the issue.

As the best agent of the team can fix the issue much faster when compared to other agents and can impress the customer with their skills and professionalism.

Once the issue is resolved it is also important to keep following-up with the customer to ensure that he is not having any difficulties with the product. Only after a customer’s concern the call center management should close the issue.

9.    Learn and improve: It is unavoidable to make mistakes particularly when you are handling a number of customers day in and day out.

By learning from your mistakes and implementing the changes suggested by the customers in their feedback’s you are showing your customers how important they are and it gives them the confidence that they have chosen the correct brand for doing their business.

So, bring in these above mentioned tips in practice can help a contact center convert an unsatisfied customer into a satisfied one.

But having said that still the key to have a long-lasting association with a customer is to try and make a lasting impression in every interaction you have with them and give them more than what they expect from you.


Now that we have seen the steps needed to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied customer of your enterprise. But the steps will be even more appealing to you if explained with an example.

So without any further ado let’s consider a real-life situation and observe the use of suggested tips in improving the customer contentment level with your service.


The case we will review today is about an Indian e-commerce website. The company has been in business since 2012 but hasn’t performed very well. However, they have the best call center solutions present in the market being used in their call centers for better management and monitoring purposes.

Since the company’s performance has never been very much commendable they usually come up with new offers every now and then, so that they can increase their business and attract new customers.

However, the biggest mistake that they have done and which is probably the reason for their poor performance is not updating their site for the list of available and unavailable items.

The situation we will discuss today is one of my personal experiences I had when trying to purchase a watch from their website.

Since they were offering the product on low price and was delivering it much faster as compared to the other business, I choose to buy the product. On the time of checkout, I was told that the product will be delivered within 4 business days which was fine with me.

The issue happened when I did not receive the product even after 7 days and no communication were received from their end about the delay in shipping of the product.

So, I decided to call their customer care center and faced the following problems:

•    First of all, it was very difficult to locate their customer care helpline number from their website.

•    Once I got the details and called in their queue there was a very long waiting time which added to my frustration.
Then after waiting for around 40 minutes in the queue I finally got in touch with one of their representative and explained the issue.

It took the agent forever to track my order and then the response I got was “We need to check with our logistics department about the shipment. We will check the issue and will update you via email.”

I waited for another 2 days but did not receive any response from their side. I was very unsatisfied with the level of service they provide to their customers. I highlighted the issue to their higher-management through email and then they decided to compensate for their fault in the following manner.


The higher management took the below steps to make up for their inaccuracy.

1.    As soon I sent the email to their management they reviewed the situation and contacted me immediately and offered a sincere apology for the gaffe.

2.    They assigned their best agent and ensured that they will look into the matter on top priority. And promised to get back to within 2 hours.

3.    Once they evaluated the issue at their end they again contacted me and took the responsibility for their actions. And provided me with an explanation that the item was unavailable when the order was placed which was the cause of delay in shipping.

4.    After all this, they shipped my order straight away and as a token of gratitude provided me with free discount coupons for the next 5 purchases from their website.


By taking responsibility for their mistake and making a genuine effort to try to compensate for their team’s fault, the company was able to gain my trust back as well as on its services.

Instead of discontinuing my connection with them I considered giving them one more chance to show improvement and reinforce my trust on them.


So from this article, it is quite evident that changing a customer’s mind about a bad service experience is not that intricate. Implementing some best practices like promptness, being cordial, keeping a customer update can bring a huge transformation in the overall service experience.

Turning a bad service experience into not wow but a good one is all dependent on how you make an effort to try and correct them and at the same time making it appear to the customer that you really value your bond with them.

In short, we can say that “It’s not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them that defines us” is the key to a good service experience.

If you feel that these tips can come handy to you when dealing with a bad service experience, do apply these tips in your contact center along with the apt call center software so that you can provide your consumers with a remarkable service experience.