Customer Service with a Smile in the Retail Industry!

Want to be a customer service guru at Pete Smith's Surf Shop!? 

So... are you ready to deal with furious and frustrated customers? 

This course will help you make even the angriest and meanest customers happy.

When working in a customer service industry, it is important to remain cool, calm, and collected at all times. In this section you will learn to respond to insults made by angry customers, and to control yourself to stay cool in the face of stress.

Meet Jane

This is Jane. She is a new sales associate at the store and needs your help through a common customer service scenario, the upset customer. Learn tips and tricks along the way to help every customer walk away with a smile!

Customer Service Techniques

It is important to be prepared for customer service challenges in the retail industry. To be prepared, Jane should learn the right techniques to overcome the possible problems. Here are techniques Jane needs to defuse the upset customer.

  • Admit mistakes technique is used to calm down the customer by admitting the mistake, whether you made it personally or the company you represent made it.

  • Allow venting is used for allowing the customer to let off steam uninterrupted, the idea is that the customer will eventually calm down on his or her own.

  • Empathy statements are used as the primary response to any situation where the customer is upset or angry. The idea is to prove to the customer that you understand his or her emotional state.

  • Not taking the bait technique means not responding to insults or abusive comments made by a customer.

  • Preemptive strike means anticipating a problem a customer might face and acknowledging it before the customer brings it up.

  • Provide explanations technique means giving clear explanations to the customer.

  • Refocus technique is used to bring a conversation with an angry customer to the original issue or topic. 

  • [Extracted from: Perfect Phrases for Customer Service by Robert Bacal]


Handling Upset Customers

It's Jane's second day at the store, and she has a stressful interaction with an upset customer. Would you be able to complete the scenario below to help her out. Careful, don't upset the customer even more!

Please pick any defusing techniques used by Jane in the scenario with the upset customer.

  • Allow venting
  • Empathy statements
  • Provide explanations
  • Not taking the bait
  • Admit mistakes
  • Refocus
  • Preemptive strike


Thanks for helping Jane! With your help she managed to deal successfully with her first angry customer. A lot of new challenges are ahead, but Jane is on the right track and so are you!