Customer Communication

5 Steps to Dealing With Unhappy Customers

Studies have shown that it's better to retain ONE customer than gain THREE new customers. By increasing your customer retention, your pest control business will sustain greater long-term growth.

SEO Title | 5 Steps to Dealing With Unhappy Customers
Dots SVG Image

Studies have shown that it's better to retain ONE customer than gain THREE new customers. By increasing your customer retention, your pest control business will sustain greater long-term growth.


Everyone hates the feeling of being ignored, especially when they are being provided a service. Giving your customer the first few minutes of the conversation to vent helps them feel like you care about their concerns. Allow them to explain the ENTIRE issue without interruption as they may give key information you would miss if you were to cut them off early. Be proactive and take notes while they are explaining what their issue is, this will prevent them from having to repeat themselves, and then you can relay this information to any other staff members that may need to take over the issue.

If you can spend the time listening to them, you will be able to understand not only why they are upset but also what their expectations are for a resolution. Many times customers are looking for an apology and validation rather than to leave your service or get a refund. If you show the customer that you care about their issues, they are much more likely to want to work with you in the future.


Seek first to understand the whole problem before offering solutions. Oftentimes you may be trying to resolve a completely different issue than what the customer is calling about. Ask follow-up questions and request clarification to check for your own understanding of the issue. This will help the customer feel validated and appreciated while giving you time and information to prepare a resolution. Gather as much information as possible, including, but not limited to, employee names of people involved, dates and times, as well as specifics details of the incident. Following these steps will make the customer feel like you are understanding their issue and care about finding a resolution.


You have to acknowledge what the customer says, even if you don’t care or completely agree. We have all heard the saying, “the customer is always right.” The customer always has a different perception of what is happening, so listen and make sure that they know that you are on their side. Use phrases like: "I can see why that can be frustrating." or, "I'm sorry that you had that experience." This will relax the customer and help them feel that you acknowledge their feelings and want to help them come to a resolution.


Respect is key! Once a customer feels that they are not being respected, the conversation will go downhill quickly. If you show the customer respect, your customer will do the same for you. Make sure your tone and conversation remain clear, calm, and non-confrontational. Remember that sometimes angry customers will be purposely trying to raise an emotional response and make you lose your cool. Sometimes they may even make things up or say outrageous things to do so. Make sure to stay professional, calm, and rational; it is not a personal attack toward you, in most cases, so remember to show them that you care and respect their feelings.


If you can listen, understand, acknowledge, and respect the customer, you will have a clear path to resolving the issue. Sometimes by following the above tips, the complaint will already be resolved. Begin by asking the customer, "What can we do to make this right?" or "How can we fix this issue?" Sometimes customers don't even know what they want -- by asking direct questions, you can quickly understand what they want and align your expectations. When customers ask for unreasonable things, remain calm and offer alternatives to show you are willing to work with them. Be generous in your resolutions, and remember that retaining a customer is MUCH more profitable than gaining a new customer.

Patrick McKittrick
Subscribe to our weekly email newsletterJoin our email list to stay up to date on FieldRoutes news, promotions, webinars, and other handy resources.

Wanting more? Check out some of our other blog posts!

Schedule a free demo
top strategies for fb ads image

Top Strategies for Creating Pest Control Facebook Ads

Facebook is a powerful marketing tool for pest control businesses as 70% of US adults use it. Learn how to optimize Facebook Ads for pest control, including benefits, setup, and cost.

Pest salary blog image
Reports And Analytics

Pest Control Technician Salaries By State And City 2023

Inflation and the cost of doing business continue to put a squeeze on Americans. But there's good news for pest control technicians: They're not being left behind when it comes to rising salaries.

SEO Image | Technology Trends For Software In 2023

Technology Trends For Software In 2023

Field service businesses that specialize in pest control and lawn care need to stay on top of technology trends in 2023. Find out what they are here.

SEO Image | Get What You Need From Software Made For Growth And Satisfaction
Business Growth

Get What You Need From Software Made For Growth And Satisfaction

How great is the feeling when you’re doing the important work in your business and you enter the highest state of focus and concentration? It feels like you can zoom through tasks and finish all the BIG THINGS that you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur.

SEO Image | Your Data Belongs To Your Business
Business Growth

Your Data Belongs To Your Business

While FieldRoutes is confident that we’ll be your best business partner, we also believe that your data is yours should you want to try something new.

SEO Tital | The States Of The Industries For Pest And Lawn
Reports And Analytics

The States Of The Industries For Pest And Lawn

Challenges and changes that have confronted business owners in pest control and in lawn and landscape in the last three years haven't dampened optimism as a new year approaches.

FieldRoutes helps field service companies simplify, scale, and grow.

Schedule a free demo
Dummy Switchback Image