The Best Responses to Rude Customers: Templates & Tips

Dealing with rude customers is never easy or pleasant. Once they’re no longer in control of their emotions, finding ways to de-escalate the situation is tough—but not impossible. So, we’ve listed some of the best responses to rude customers to help you navigate these moments.

Our stance is all about encouraging you to maintain your composure and stay professional. It’s not always easy if someone is hurling insults at you, but being the bigger person can help keep your and your company’s integrity intact.

Let’s take a look at some of the best responses to rude customers:

How do you respond to a rude customer?

We’ve also put together a guide on how to deal with rude customers, which you can read. In that post, we suggest you:

  1. Stay calm
  2. Manage your expectations
  3. Remember, it’s not about you
  4. Get to the heart of the matter
  5. Find a solution that works
  6. Follow up
  7. Train your team on how to respond
  8. Develop standard responses to help your team

Follow these steps, and you should be able to calm down an angry customer. You might even see them come full circle.

In a study published in the Harvard Business Review, researchers found that customers who had complained to companies and received good customer service in response were more likely to reward that brand with loyalty and pay more for products and services in the future.

Your customer could go from a critic of your company to one of its champions. What a win!

This could have an enormously positive impact, since 72% of customers will share a positive customer experience with six or more people.

So, what should you say to mean customers? 3 templates to use

One of the most important aspects of good customer service, especially if your customers aren’t happy, is response time. The quicker you respond to customers, the more likely they will forgive their poor experience.

You can help your team improve their efficiency by making frequently-used responses readily available (note: with Magical you can save all your commonly-used responses as shortcuts that you can expand using a few keystrokes).

While these templates should always be tweaked so that they’re customer-specific, having a strong skeleton in place will make the process simpler,  faster, and more consistent.

Here are some useful templates to help you respond to rude customers:

1. First response email template

Send this email out as soon as you become aware of an issue. Again, timing is everything.

(As an aside, the Harvard Business Review research also suggests that agents sign their names in these sorts of interactions. It helps to create a more human connection between your company and your customers.)

2. Explanatory email template

This email should be sent as soon as you’ve uncovered the reasons behind your customer’s complaint.

3. Follow-up email template

This email may or may not be necessary. If the customer has received a discount, refund or voucher that they’re free to use at their discretion, they may find another email irritating.

But if they’re waiting for a product to be replaced, they may be impressed by your attention to detail.

Always read and re-read your emails to check for punctuation or grammar issues. Sloppy writing implies that your customer service is similarly weak – and you’re already dealing with an unhappy customer who may be looking for further faults.

Change channels if necessary

It’s worth noting that things can get misread over email. Picking up the phone and talking to a customer in person is sometimes a better approach.

Similarly, if you’ve been dealing with a difficult customer over the phone, putting something in writing might help to diffuse the situation. Judge this on a case-by-case basis and change channels if you think another method might be better.

How do you respond to an aggressive customer?

Remember that there’s a limit, and that a rude customer who makes snide remarks is different to one who becomes verbally or physically threatening.

You should never tolerate aggressive customers, so your customer service policy must outline how your company will deal with this. Your employees need to know that they have your support if a customer becomes hostile or abusive.

Properly supporting and appreciating your employees has many tangible benefits. Studies suggest that 69% of employees say they’ll work harder if they feel appreciated.

What about smart replies to rude comments?

If you look around for clever and witty responses you can give to rude customers, you’re likely to find a wide variety of spiteful and snarky answers. These ideas are often overly casual and completely unprofessional. They also regularly resort to name-calling.

While some of the responses can be entertaining to read, they’re not an approach that we’d ever recommend. Replying to an irate customer with “Cool story, bro”, or “I hope your day is as pleasant as your personality” will almost certainly make the situation worse.

In other words, respond rudely, and you could quickly find yourself dealing with negative public reviews. These could be published in the press, on review platforms such as Trustpilot, or on social media—and will affect your business’s reputation. Regarding customer service, “fighting fire with fire” is rarely a smart strategy to pursue.

Instead, save some polite and professional responses in Magical. Use the slash command to embed them in your customer support replies anywhere you work. No setup required—just download Magical and it works effortlessly.

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