Responding To An Unhappy Customer Email

Customers are the life of any business and whatever they say should be taken as correct even if they are not right. This is a rule that must be remembered. It is impossible that everyone will like a particular product or service and it is very normal for clients to be dissatisfied with a product if it doesn’t meet the expectations. Customers are often angry and furious with certain products and hence handling emails from them is an important and difficult task. Receiving angry emails are common and reacting calmly to it is every company’s priority.

Here is how to handle these angry customers via an email:

  • Understanding what the customer’s complaint is
  • How to react to the dissatisfied customers and reaching out to them
  • How to write the subject of the email
  • Writing the body of the email
  • Handling various situations and scenarios faced while dealing with these customers via email

#1 Understanding the customer’s complaint

Miscommunications with the client can lead to quarrels and conflicts. So it is extremely important that you try and understand what the customer has to say. Understanding the problem first is necessary. Only then a suitable reply or a solution can be given. The customer complaint often has too many variables and it gets difficult to decipher them when considering the problem. The clients do not have adequate knowledge about all the features of the product while the company or a retailer knows the details of the product or service offered.

The software technical support gets emails from the angry customers and it is essential to match the details of products with the customer’s understanding of it. The first message sent to the customer should be an empowering one and giving out as many details as possible to get a better understanding of what is actually not working.

#2 How to reach out to angry customer via email

You need to check the CRM software and the helpdesk software you use to get data about the customer, previous support history and the product ordered. After all the information is acquired and preparations are made, the client can be contacted to provide a solution. The usage of the same medium through which the client contacted is the best option.

If there is channel limitation, in that case asking the client to contact you via an email is a good idea and providing the email address is mandatory. When handling issues such as these, approaching the customer politely is important. The client is already frustrated and you do not want to do any more damage to the client’s reputation of you.

#3 How to write a subject

When sending an email to a customer, it is always extremely important to pay a lot of attention to the subject line. A few tips that may be considered are listed below:

  • Be very brief and precise while writing the subject as there is a word limit. A short and compact message attracts more attention that a really long one.
  • Addressing the core of the issue is the key. You can immediately state the topic of discussion with the customer to grab attention.
  • You should always use a “Re:” when writing an email.
  • You can send a Generic message as well. Personalization will be appreciated invariably.
  • Do not use any weird font or caps while writing such official emails. Usage of unnecessary ticket numbers in the subject must be avoided.

#4 How to write the body of email

The subject line is only to attract the attention while the actual body includes the details and other aspects.

Personalization and friendly behaviour via an email makes the client appreciate your company. It is always nice to open an email and see your name addressed in a friendly manner.

Introduce yourself first when emailing. Although the customer wants to get to the solution as fast as possible, you should mention whom the client is speaking to. It creates a connection between the client and an actual person and not just a faceless corporation.

Explaining why you are getting in touch with the customer helps. Specifying that the email serves as an answer to a particular support request will put the talk on the right track.

Following the four steps Control, Acknowledge, Refocus and Problem-Solve helps in solving the problem in a simple manner. It deals with difficult customers and was introduced by Robert Bacal.

  • Control. Handling the situation and solving the problem should be the main aim and not arguing. The situation needs to be dealt with sincerity and do not lose focus or get annoyed when facing such angry clients.
  • Acknowledge. Acknowledge the client’s problem and assure them that you will do everything to resolve the matter.
  • Refocus. Speak about facts and ask for any other mandatory information or questions if required to solve the problem.
  • Problem-Solve. Tell them why those details are required so that they understand the situation better.

Few other essential details include:

  • If you need to put any client on hold, do mention it to them the time needed and when you will get back to the problem.
  • Forwarding a client to an appropriate department is a wise decision.
  • Also, when doing this sends all the necessary information which you know about the client by now. Clients are likely to get frustrated restating the same issue over and over to various people.
  • Promising things that the company cannot do is a strict no.
  • Always use steps when providing a solution to a problem. It can be followed easily.

#5 How to handle different situations.

Here are some common scenarios when talking with customers via email –

Each customer might be very unique in their own way but they will have similar issues regarding the products or services. Hence having a script ready for the commonly arising issues always helps when handling these situations. It makes the process much faster.

Here are some approaches for the popular situations you will face:

You don’t know the answer

Clients often come up with really difficult and tricky questions. It is alright to not know the answers to all of them. However, you need to say that in a smart way not letting them know it. You cannot sound incompetent in front of clients.

You’ve made a mistake

This situation occurs when the company you are representing has delivered a defective product or the service was delayed. In such situations, it is best to admit the mistake, apologize and try to resolve it as quickly as possible. Denying your mistake will only result in making the client angry.

When an item is currently unavailable

The inventory management may fail sometimes and a customer might order items that are out of stock. Although this is an accident, but from the customer’s point the company is at fault. In this case tell the customer when it will be restocked or ask them to order similar items. The main objective is to resolve the problems faced by the clients and not just giving them an answer. You should ensure that the client has no further issues or questions.

It is thus of utmost importance to respond to the customers in a cordial way so that the reputation of the business is not hampered and the customers are retained as well.  


A digital marketer who is passionate about search engine technology. A technical content writer at times!