3 important lesson we've learned from bad client experiences

Tiago Santana

Consumers or clients are undoubtedly one of the most imperious yet common threads binding businesses together. It is hard to even visualize business processes without having customers. Eventually, every company works to influence clients and stimulate better revenue. However, creating a friendship with clients can make you strike the market seamlessly. When a customer becomes your "enemy," you can find a terrible drop in your sales. Irate customers can spread news faster than wildfire! With the internet as a weapon, clients attain a large stage to provide reviews and experiences about businesses.


Social media and online communities boost this fire by making it easy for those clients to reach your potential clients. Research shows that 93% of clients are more likely to read reviews before purchasing. Noticeably bad client experiences can disturb your business quickly. The same report also states that 91% of clients aged 18-34 trust online reviews. When a review can be posted online with such ease, one bad customer service experience can ruin your brand's reputation. Therefore, companies need to pay keen attention to their customer experience.

If you are working to improve your clients' experience, you need to emphasize eliminating bad client experiences. Often you will find that post-purchase communications with clients, whether you're adding more value, or simply thanking them for their purchase, can make the experience even better. You will find that many clients appreciate this extra touch after buying a product or service. In addition, many clients take this opportunity to let you know about any problems. On the flip side, when you don't reach out, many people will become so enraged that they make it a public review on your website. Think about it, if you can catch it early, you could do a lot of damage control. By connecting with your clients, you give them the space to open up and be heard or validated. On average, you can find one negative review and complaint in every 12 positive reviews.

Further, 65% of consumers admit to switching companies after having a single bad experience. Thus, tracking client mentality and learning from the bad experiences is a significant strategy to retain clients. Today, we will talk about what you can learn from your bad customer experiences.

We Can Learn Imperative Lessons from Bad Client Experiences

Understanding and Segmenting Clients

Clients come knocking at your door with complaints when they are dissatisfied with the product or have incomplete information. While dealing with clients, you can find four types of clients. It includes:

  • Irritated clients
  • Less-interested clients
  • Confused clients
  • Tedious to understand clients

In bad client experiences, most consumers you communicate with are angry. Angry clients come with harsh criticisms of your business. They can cause immense damage to your brand image, and they know it. Their problem could be anything from poor customer service to a faulty product. Of course, confused and less-interested consumers can still be a threat. Still, as a business owner, you should provide them with the clarity they need to become repeat customers.


Three Important Lessons We've Learned from Bad Client Experiences and What Makes a Customer Irate

What makes a customer irate are the three M's:

  • misconception
  • miscommunication
  • misinformation

Let's look at these problems and how they turn into a negative client experience.

Identifying the Issues that Create a Bad Client Experience

1) Misconception

Sometimes a simple misconception about a service or product can cause big misunderstandings. We agree an angry consumer can cause more damage than you think to your brand. So it would be best if you looked closely at how misconception forms bad experiences for clients.

Misconception generates in the minds of angry consumers when they misunderstand how the product is supposed to work or what it must include. Most online businesses will experience some misunderstandings with clients. Different people can grasp online text information in various ways.

Misconceptions are also generated in the mind of clients when they don't get what they are expecting. Even more, 13% of clients become unhappy when the service or product doesn't meet their expectations.

2) Miscommunication

A communication error is another significant reason you can have bad client experiences. Most clients get angry because their interaction with customer service agents are unclear. Whether the conversation is through phone calls, in-person, live chat, or video chat, make sure you understand what the client expects of you. If not, this can have adverse effects. Set proper customer expectations with possible outcomes and response times. By doing this, you can change the overall experience.

Slow response times can cause you to lose the customer. Instead of waiting around for you, they simply move on and leave you negative feedback. You don't have to respond immediately, but you want to limit wait times. An easy way or tactic is to let them know when to expect an answer from you. Remember, your customers are real people too.

Additionally, sometimes representatives interrupt clients with policies. That can make the conversation annoying and feel less personal. Most clients will get angry when customer service agents or business representatives don't listen to them. Surveys show this is a topic they will mention in a bad review for potential customers to see. So share the importance of active listening with your team.

Use role-play exercises among team members to give them a feel of what it could be like with a customer. For example, clients want to speak to the support team because they need help. So make the customer feel like they can talk to you by offering excellent service.

  • 3) Misinformation

When buying online, the final price comes with many additional charges. Things like shipping and handling and taxes can take the bill up substantially. Not being clear about these things is a surefire way to create negative customer experiences. In many cases, companies don't share the price details on the product page. Being vague with details creates misunderstanding within the minds of your clients. Plus, it makes it harder to provide a good customer experience.

Furthermore, additional charges annoy consumers when checking out on your digital platform because now the item is out of their budget. As a result, some clients discard the product, while some buy it. In both cases, it builds up anger in the clients and creates unhappy customers.

Now that you recognize the origins of poor customer experiences, you must incorporate them in your preliminary stages of communication to avoid disaster. Thankfully, you can also let these lessons work for you positively. You learn many lessons after having a bad experience with clients that you can use to progress your next customers’ experiences.

Here are Three Important Lessons to Help You Avoid a Bad Customer Service Story

1) You can win over even the hardest and angriest clients

Challenging clients may be hard to communicate with. Communicating with irate clients can be frustrating and monotonous. Having patience is the key factor that will help you out. Make sure your customer support team has the support they need to handle these clients.


If you want to win over one of the most demanding clients, you need to ensure that you do everything to calm them down.

Adding poor communication skills to poor service can ruin it even more. It would be best to keep listening to your angry clients as long as they are still talking. Your patience and calmness will always help you win them. Once the client has expressed themselves, you can do your best to clear up any misconceptions. Even your angry customers will still appreciate good customer service. Sometimes, simply providing them with a good experience after the fact can increase customer satisfaction.

2) Try to be persistent

In business communication, politeness and persistence pay off. So when you find your clients getting angry over any issue, you should follow up with these customer complaints. For example, you can get your team together and make outbound calls to resolve their problems as soon as possible. Excellent customer service starts with genuinely caring about your customer's needs and honing in on their specific issue.

Calming them by maintaining communication while their issues are resolved will continue to build a good customer relationship. That's how you give clients a great experience with your business.

3) Show confidence

You can take several approaches to client communication. It can be face-to-face communication, virtual communication, and on-call communication. While having any of these modes of communication, you should make sure that you're confident about your product or service. Confidence in appearance also makes you seem more authoritative and trustworthy. Let the consumer know that you are the one to offer the resolution.

Similarly, while having virtual or on-call communication, you should follow the same rule. Don't sound unsure or afraid to speak with your clients. Instead, you must stay calm and answer every question confidently. The good news is that this is something that you can quickly get the hang of with practice.

For example, if your clients are angry over expectations and deadlines, that's a communication issue. First, you must confront your mistakes. Your promise to deliver a product or service sets an expectation. When you don't meet it, clients get frustrated, understandably. In such cases, you must confront your mistake and let the client know that you need more time.

Learning these top three lessons from bad client experiences can also help you secure your brand image. Apart from these mainstream ideas, many other lessons support you winning over an angry client.

Here are a Few Other Lessons that Will Help You

  • Winning is all that matters

    You already know the consequences of having an angry customer. An angry client can spread negative remarks about your business faster than the speed of light! Whether it is a significant issue, or a smaller one, you must win over your angry client. The only way to do this is by understanding your customers' needs. Then, take the opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive experience.

    • There is no such thing as "over preparedness"

    Many businesses create action plans anticipating worst-case scenarios. On the other hand, something as simple as a poor interaction can come out of nowhere, and you need a solution fast. So rather than staying prepared, focus on being able to adapt yourself to any possible situation.

    • No matter what strategies you adopt or how compellingly you present your product or services, you can never satisfy everyone

    Eventually, a client somewhere will end up finding flaws in you. Now you know you can still improve a poor experience like this with your communication and response.

    Minimizing the Impact of a Bad Client Experience

    Reflective Listening

    Good communication with your client can help you out in the long run. So, it always depends on how you strategize your communication. While interacting with an irate client, you must be a reflective listener, especially in real-time. First, involve yourself in listening to personal statements. Then, you can repeat them in diverse words.

    Here are some tips to ensure a great customer experience:

    • Validate the feelings of your clients
    • Let the client acknowledge that you are attentive
    • Give them a chance to respond
    • Don't involve yourself in an argument

    While having a heated conversation with clients, there is a chance your tone will want to get higher too. Furthermore, as a human, you also have feelings. You can get affected by certain trigger words and emotional outbursts too. To calm your client, you must not argue with them. Arguing back will most likely escalate the situation. Just stay calm, be patient, and listen to what the client says. Listening is an excellent opportunity to get a deeper understanding of what's going on.

    1. Ask questions in between
    • Asking questions is a great way to convey that you are attentive. The client wants to know they have your full attention. You can ask for more details about the situation. Asking questions can also help you take the client's focus away from the anger. Ask direct questions to get the best responses. For example, if there is an invoice or credit card issue, you can dig out more details about the error and turn a bad service experience into a good one.
    1. Always be empathetic to the client
    • Empathy is a practical approach to dealing with angry clients. While having communication, you should make sure to use empathetic words. Empathetic words also convey they are getting understood. Be sure not to make it too sympathetic, as clients can confuse this with sarcasm.
    1. Make an offer
    • Sometimes making an offer is the best way to please an angry client. It will eliminate the bad experience and boost customer loyalty. Your client will recognize that you are trying to make it up to them. An offer can be anything from a discount on today's purchase to redeemable codes for future purchases. While making this offer, clearly state it's a gift from the company to make up for the problem.



Dealing with an angry client is a big deal. However, you would never want the bad experience to ruin your future business operations. Using all the above lessons in your interactions will bring positive results, even with angry clients. If you have a customer service team, ensure that they are well-armed with a good communication skill set to make the interaction fruitful. Does your team need help handling angry clients? Contact us, today!


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