How to Deal with Rude Customers When You Just Want to Scream

Emily Randolph
written by
Emily Randolph
last updated
October 05, 2020
How to Deal with Rude Customers When You Just Want to Scream

Unfortunately, pleasant customers aren’t always the norm. Customers believe they should always get what they want, and that should be true when it comes to customer service.

67% of customer churn is preventable if you resolve issues the first time they occur. 

It’s important to deal with customer issues and complaints right away even when the customer is not pleasant. Knowing how to deal with rude customers is a very important skill for your company to understand.

This list is not, by any means, to bash your customers. It doesn’t mean you can write off the ones that are rude. It is instead to give you the right mindset for customer service.

We want you to be able to recognize the rudeness and then show the customer the kindness and competence of your company.

It’s bound to happen. Customers will be rude, and how you deal with them is important to your reputation as a company.

You can ignore them, but that will only add fuel to their fire. Instead, you want to tackle the problem head-on with as much grace as possible. Keep an open mind, and use the following tips to stay grounded.

Listen to the complaining customer without interrupting. Acknowledge their problem and don’t downplay it. This will help you gain their trust back as you move forward into solving the issue.

And don’t make them repeat it multiple times. Listening can benefit your business by creating less paperwork, upward communication, and human relationships. 

Instead of focusing on the customer’s rudeness, you should focus on what the problem is and how you are going to solve it. Finding the root of the problem will help you to keep your focus.

If you get distracted, or move off track, the problem becomes something different entirely. The problem then becomes your incompetence or inability to help. The problem then becomes bad customer service.

Customers just want their problems solved quickly and efficiently. Focus on what they need and ignore the unpleasantries.

Don’t ignore the customer, just ignore the rudeness. 

Apologize even if it’s not your fault. Being genuine with your responses will help the customer calm down. Show them that you genuinely care about them and their experience with your company. 

But don’t blame the customer either. You can apologize for their experience instead of ignoring that anything happened and move on. 

Putting yourself in the shoes of the customer can help you understand where they are coming from and therefore allow you to empathize with them.

Speed is important for the customer but, in this case, it is more important to empathize. Once again, a cold, quick response will accentuate the users’ problems.

If you understand where they are coming from and try not to be ambiguous, you will avoid the negativity bias. 

While you want to reassure the complaining customer, you also want to be confident in your responses about your company. If you don’t know the answer, it is okay to say you don’t know.

But don’t try to give the customer false information or information that will bring them right back to you. 

If you are not confident, your customers will write you off as incompetent and your company’s reputation will suffer.

Give them a solution, not another problem. 

Rude customers should fall under the tasks that need to be perfect. Don’t slack off because they are rude, but instead find ways to make the customer see that you know what you are talking about. 

Keeping the conversation on track is important. No matter where the conversation goes, you have to stay in control of it.

You should implement support for customers to use before they get to you. There are many different types of customer service, and each has benefits for you and your customers. It is important for you to keep in mind what the customer wants and needs from customer service.

Support systems should be available, accessible, and fast. 

Frustrated customers can be avoided almost completely with support in the form of a knowledge base. This option drastically reduces the amount of facetime you need to have with angry customers (in person, email, chat, etc).

The library of information available allows customers to find whatever they need with little to no help. It is automated and completely self-service

Having an online customer service system in place drastically reduces the amount of rude customers. They are able to find their answers without getting angry with your support representatives, if only because they initially have no one to direct their anger at.

Alternative forms of support give the customers options and a way to resolve issues quickly and amicably. 

First, you have to put it behind you. After the issue is resolved, look for a way to prevent it from happening again. And then move forward from there. 

Don’t write off the customer, but don’t dwell on it. Use it as an opportunity to find improvements. Find the initial friction point.

Even if it is the customer’s fault, it may have been the business that enabled the customer to go down the wrong path.

At the end of the day, the customer is always right!


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