How do you handle upset customers? 

In business, we know how critical it is to properly handle an upset customer. It can have an overwhelmingly positive impact or a drastically negative one on your long-term reputation. Nobody likes reading a bad review of their business on Google! If your customers truly believe you are presenting them with a great value in response to an initially poor experience, their positive encounters and memories will earn you their trust and will inadvertently warrant them to visit your establishment again. If you handle the situation particularly well, they may even choose to visit more often, as a way to show their appreciation! 

Promotional gift cards can be in any denomination that works best for your business model and margins. Keeping a few $5 pre-loaded promo cards on hand at the counter, for example, will help you get to pleasing your disgruntled customer faster. Time is of the essence when remedying a negative experience! 

Plus, these promotional gift cards expire on a date set by you. So if your upset customer is given a card and never comes back in to spend it, you’re not on the hook for those dollars forever!

We want to ensure you’re empowered to turn those occasional frowns upside down by showing you some ways you can leverage E-gift cards.


Picture it: 2 people called in sick and you’re out of 3 popular items thanks to a supply shortage. The dinner rush slows your operation right down... The kitchen’s backed up, and now you have a dining room full of HUNGRY upset customers. Instead of walking money out the door and comping or discounting meals and appetizers, you can present everyone affected with a like-cash gift to thank them for their patience and patronage! When you give things away for free, you have no idea if you’ll see the recipients again. When you give away a promotional card, you can expect to see on average 30% of your upset customers return to give you a second chance!

See for yourself below how effective promotional gift cards are at turning an upset customer into a potential regular:

ROI of promotional gift card when handling upset customer

*This ROI does not include anytime they may come back after you impress them on their first return visit!


Running behind on your targets with the end of the month/quarter approaching fast? That can mean a lot of added stress and pressure on your sales team. By equipping your team with promotional gift cards that can expire, you empower them with a well-received, no-pressure incentive that creates a sense of urgency with their prospects. The promotional gift card will make your potential future customers feel valued and special, which may mean another important sale for your dealership. Your service department could use promo cards to handle upset customers too. Since the cards given out will eventually expire, what have you got to lose?


You find yourself having to handle an upset customer who is throwing a fit because their swim bottoms didn’t fit. Your company policy is strict with no returns on bathing suits and this is non-negotiable. Instead of telling your customer “too bad, so sad”, you can reconcile the situation by offering a promotional gift card to come back and find a pair of bottoms that fit her better without needing to overrule your policy. Everybody wins and she’ll be back!

handle upset customers - happy customer with promotional gift card


As experts in the petro space, we know that the potential for something to go wrong in your sales flow is less likely than the above industries. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen! Say someone goes to fill up and suddenly, mid-fill, your pumps go down. This upset customer will be forced to go elsewhere to fill up while your pumps restart. They may not choose to come back to your station. Unfortunately, they may view you as unreliable! To brighten the situation and ensure a return visit, your cashier can apologize for the inconvenience and pass out some $3-$5 promo cards. This positive encounter encourages them to come back!


Promotional gift cards are a simple, surefire way to handle upset customers no matter the situation. Our data indicates that you can expect 30% of your promotional gift cards to come back as revenue. When that promotional gift card is redeemed, your customers are likely to spend on average 3X what you gave them! 

By using compassion, understanding, and a little something special, difficult situations can become great opportunities! Handling an upset customer with a promotional gift card has the power to transform them into an advocate for your business! Why not give it a shot?

READ MORE: Win Your Customers' Hearts With Gift Card Promotions