3 Different Types of Complaining Customers (And How to Deal with Them)

You’re never going to make everyone happy in life and the sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be. However, when it comes to that business you run, well you can’t really afford to adopt that “brush it off” attitude. Why? Well, bottom line is that more customers equal bigger profits. Conversely, losing customers means losing money.

Complaints File Shows Complaint Reports And RecordsIn other words, you have to do everything you can to keep every single customer happy. All it takes is the right person to get pissed off and they’ll wage an online war against you that could do severe damage to your brand. A little due diligence and you might be able to avoid that altogether.

Of course, the complaints will come. There’s no denying it. You just need to know how to deal with them. And as you can imagine, with so many personality types, all complaints are going to be the same. So with that in mind, let’s do a brief study on the different types of complainers you’re likely going to encounter, as well as how to deal with them.

1. The Aggressor

If you ever worked in the service industry, you know The Aggressor well. They’re the customer that is just looking for a reason to get their feathers ruffled. And you can bet once they find it, they’re going to engage hard and fast. They’re going to yell as loud as they can, and they’re going to make sure the world knows all about it—usually via social media.

My advice? You definitely need to engage them. Don’t let them go on spoiling your good name for all to hear. However, you don’t want a Twitter war with them. Instead, try to talk with them privately. Maybe send them a direct message, try and get their email, or maybe even see if you can get their phone number for an actual chat. Hear them out. They need to vent—it’s their personality.

Absolutely do not get aggressive back with them. You won’t win. Instead, recognize the problem and offer a way to fix it. They just want what they want, right?  Do what you can to appease them and send them on their way.

2. The “Special” Customer

Yes, all of your customers are special, ideally speaking. However, the difference with The Special customer is that he actually believes he’s special. Therefore, he’s entitled to things others are not. In other words, he wants to beat the system and get something free or discounted…something extra that other customers aren’t.

How to handle them? Well, if you can engage them in front of an audience, do it. Typically, others will see what this customer is up to and shut them down for you. You just have to stick with your guns and only budge as much as you normally would for anyone else. Don’t give special treatment.

3. The Never-Stops-Complaining Complainer

The Never-Stops-Complaining customer just can’t be beat. Why? Because no matter what you do, they’re going to find a reason to be unhappy. The glass is always half empty, which means they have deeper issues than you are going to be able to cure. That said, you need to make sure you turn up the patience to maximum levels. Respond positively at all costs. They’re going to keep griping, but they will appreciate your positivity and relay it to others. Your harshest critic can also serve as your biggest advocate in many cases.

Have you run into any of the above complainer profiles? If so, how did you handle them?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here:

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