An irate customer is pretty much a retailer\u2019s worst nightmare, online and off. After all, in today\u2019s age of online reviews and social media rants, one angry customer can have a larger negative effect than anything else. While you may not be able to fully prevent the occasional customer from being dissatisfied, how you handle the situation can greatly impact the final outcome.\r\n\r\nThe Overarching Rule for all Upset Customers\r\nWe\u2019ll go into a few different scenarios in a moment, but first let\u2019s focus on some basic tenets for dealing with any disgruntled customer.\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s a reason we have the saying, \u201cthe customer is always right.\u201d\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s not really always true, but you should act like it is. Even if you think you\u2019re in the right, it does no good to argue your point with someone who\u2019s upset about an interaction with your company. What do you hope to achieve by fighting back? The customer will likely run to TrustPilot and tell everyone how unaccommodating you were about the situation, and that won\u2019t win you any business. Whether a customer says your product was sub par, didn\u2019t arrive, or broke, it\u2019s easier to just agree, apologize, and rectify.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s best to step away from the situation if you\u2019re feeling angry about it, cool off, then approach it professionally. Realize that this person spent money with a business, expecting it to go well, and it didn\u2019t. Have some sympathy; we\u2019ve all been there. Handling this customer with kid gloves, showing sympathy, and working to fix the situation may even turn it around and win you a loyal and lifelong supporter.\r\n\r\nNow, let\u2019s look at a few situations you might encounter through your ecommerce business and how to handle angry eCommerce customers.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWhere the BLEEP is My Order???\r\n\r\nA customer\u2019s order should have arrived days ago, and didn\u2019t. Now you\u2019re getting angry emails about it.\r\n\r\nWhat to do about it\r\nThis will take some investigation on your part. Start by tracking the package. If it says that it arrived already, confirm the address with your customer. It may be a matter of her not updating her address after she moved, in which case, you\u2019re not at fault. Still, work to get her the product as quickly as possible.\r\n\r\nYour email template\r\nDear [FirstName]:I\u2019m so sorry your product hasn\u2019t arrived yet. While we strive to get our customers their products as quickly as possible, we are sometimes at the mercy of the good ole US Postal Service [or China Post].You can track your package here: [link]Please give it a few more days and notify us if it doesn\u2019t arrive. In the meantime, we will be doing everything on our end to locate your package.\r\nHow to prevent this situation\r\nWhile sometimes you simply are at the mercy of your shipper, make sure to take precautions to avoid as many of the \u201clost package\u201d problems as possible. Always use trackable shipping, and keep that information handy in case you need to use it to find where an item is. Include that tracking info in an automated email as soon as it ships so you\u2019re not bombarded with requests on tracking. And insure all shipped products. This will cover your liability for those that never arrive.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cYour Product Sucks. I Want My Money Back.\u201d\r\nEven if you think your product is amazing, some customers may not. It\u2019s completely subjective, so, again, don\u2019t get into a pissing match over it.\r\n\r\nWhat to do about it\r\nApologize and refund. Don\u2019t make a stink about it. With free and easy returns on Amazon, the entire eCommerce industry is having to bite the bullet on the costs of returns, so while it may hurt to do so, you pretty much have to.\r\n\r\nYour email template\r\nDear [FirstName]:I\u2019m so sorry our product didn\u2019t meet your expectations. We will, of course, process your return or exchange it for another product immediately.[Instructions for processing exchanges and returns]I\u2019d love to know: what specifically was it about the product that you didn\u2019t like? This can help us improve our products and make customers like you happy in the future, so please consider sharing your feedback.\r\nHow to prevent this situation\r\nThat last little bit of the email is key for preventing more returns in the future. A simple survey sent to those who return products can help you see trends. Maybe the product falls apart quickly\u00a0or isn\u2019t easy to use. Once you get some feedback from customers, you need to act on it to ensure that you don\u2019t continue to get more returns.\r\nSince it\u2019s your responsibility to cover return shipping expenses for faulty products, you might want to think about letting your customer keep the item and just refund the amount paid. This way you'll save more money not paying for return shipping, and since you're dropshipping and don't own a warehouse, you won't receive back products that you can't resell.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n[On Social Media] \u201cThis Company Bites!\u201d\r\nHandling social media rants is tricky, but not addressing them can be detrimental to your business.\r\n\r\nWhat to do about it\r\nThis is one of those situations where having a cool head will help. Still, respond promptly after seeing the irate Tweet or Yelp review. First and foremost, apologize. Then get to the bottom of what happened. Take the conversation to private message so you can work out the details. Usually offering a replacement product or refund will get the job done, but if the customer\u2019s feelings were wounded, you may need to soothe ruffled feathers a bit further.\r\n\r\nYour social media template\r\nPublic tweet: @MadCustomer Oh no! We are so sorry you are unhappy with our products. Please DM me the details and we\u2019ll make it right.Private message: @MadCustomer Again, our apologies. We\u2019d like to refund you for the product and give you $25 credit to spend in our online store to make up for it.\r\nHow to prevent this situation\r\nWhile you may not be able to prevent someone spreading rancor on social media, consistently monitoring mentions of your brand will at least mitigate the damage it can cause. The quicker you respond, the less negative impact an angry update can have.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cI Want to Cancel My Order\u201d [and It\u2019s Already Shipped]\r\nThe most frustrating thing in eCommerce is when you\u2019ve just shipped an order and then your customer wants to cancel the order.\r\n\r\nWhat to do about it\r\nFirst, get to the bottom of why she wants to cancel the order when she hasn\u2019t received it. If you use a subscription service, she may just want to be done getting orders. Sometimes you can eliminate the cancelled order just by asking questions.\r\nIf you\u2019ve already shipped the product, the best way to handle it is as a return.\r\n\r\nYour email template\r\nDear [FirstName]:We\u2019re so sorry to hear you want to cancel your order with us. We were so eager to get your product to you that it\u2019s already left the building.Once you receive it, send it back to us using our easy returns process and we will refund your purchase. But we hope once you receive the product that you love it so much you decide to keep it!\r\nHow to prevent this situation\r\nMake sure your order cancellation policy is clearly listed on your website. This is your opportunity to mention that you charge a processing fee for orders cancelled after they\u2019re shipped, or to explain the process for returning an item.\r\n\r\nIf you have a subscription service, provide a cutoff for cancelling orders prior to shipping to reduce those returns.\r\n\r\nAngry customers are just part of doing business in the eCommerce world, unfortunately. But if you have a strategy for turning around a dissatisfied customer, you can keep her business in the future.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWant to Learn More?\r\n\r\n \tCustomer Loyalty Programs: How Brands Grow By Giving\r\n \t8 Ways to Optimize Your eCommerce Customer Support\r\n \t10 Customer Service Statistics You Need to Know in 2020 [Infographic]\r\n \tHow to Manage PayPal Claims, Disputes, and Chargebacks\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIs there anything else you\u2019d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!