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It’s important to know how to handle upset and/or lost customers. When you lose a customer it is difficult to make up for lost revenue plus the added benefits of having happy customers help you to get additional ones. In this blog post, we will hear from Gary Kurtis as he provides us with tips for handling upset and lost customers.

Do not take an angry or upset people personally

People can get angry and become unhappy for different reasons. Always express empathy and understanding. A good practice is to let them vent so you can then have a conversation about their concerns. If you find out that you lost your customer, always take the high road and handle the news with professionalism. It’s been my experience that since people move around you never know where someone can pop up.

A problem is an opportunity 

Some of my best long-term customers came from a problem situation as it provides the salesperson with a great opportunity to accept full responsibility for the problem and commit to a complete resolution. This means taking full ownership of the process and regularly updating your customer through complete resolution.  This process of becoming their advocate makes you a hero in their eyes and goes a long way to maintaining a long-term relationship which leads to more sales. 

Ask open-ended questions about what would help them feel better 

Questions that are not answered with a single word or sentence are open-ended. They help people feel better and want to move on. The client will answer and you should listen closely and repeat what they said so they know you heard them.

Take proactive measures to prevent  upset and eventual lost customers

The only thing worse than having an upset or lost customer is the feeling that it could have been prevented had you known of their displeasure. To use a sports analogy, sometimes the best defense is a good offense, so why not stay ahead of the curve to prevent these situations. Make it a point to meet with your customers regularly, particularly with something of value or to educate them as they will welcome your contact. This provides you with an opportunity to hear of any discontent and address it at that time before it gets out of hand. It also avoids the common feeling from many customers that they only see their salesperson when it is time again to make a sale or a perception that the competition is better when they are only better at connecting with your customer.

Learn from a lost sale

A lost customer can provide valuable insight into what went wrong and what you could have done better which will help you to both maintain other customers and get new ones.   


In this post, Gary Kurtis covered Tips for Handling Upset and Lost Customers. It is important to know how to handle upset customers. Become their advocate by listening to what they have to say and offering empathy and a commitment to make them happy again.

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About Gary Kurtis

Gary Kurtis is a sales expert and the founder of, where he provides sales advice and training for small businesses. When Gary’s not helping business owners increase their sales revenue, you can find him spending time with his wife and two young grandchildren or promoting his favorite charity, the ALS Hope Foundation.

If you want to reach out to Gary Kurtis (Field 1 Post Trusted Sales Partner), please contact him by clicking here.

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