Affronter un client mécontent

Les mots clés et expressions:

Customer service

Definition : the department which handles all customer complaints and issues as well as questions and assistance.

Translation : Service après-vente 

Could i have your name please ?

Definition : Would you mind giving me your name, please ?

Translation : Puis-je prendre votre nom ? 

Explain the problem from the very beginning (to)

Definition : to fill someone in on exactly what has happened. 

Translation : Expliquer le problème depuis le début 

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused

Definition : we really can’t apologize enough for the misunderstanding. 

Translation : Veuillez accepter toutes nos excuses pour ce dérangement 

How may i help you ?

Definition : What can I do for you ? Let me see if I can help you. 

Translation : Comment puis-je vous être utile ? 

This won’t happen again, i can assure you

Definition : you have my word that this kind of situation won’t reoccur.

Translation : Cela ne se reproduira pas, je vous l’assure 

How can we rectify this situation ?

Definition : What can we do to make things better for you ? 

Translation : Que pouvons-nous faire pour remédier à cette situation ? 

I’ll give this matter my immediate attention

Definition : I’ll look into this matter straight away ; I’ll take care of this right now. 

Translation : Je vais m’occuper de cette affaire immédiatement 

I really do understand your anger and frustration

Definition : I fully appreciate how angry and frustrated you must be feeling. 

Translation : Je comprends tout à fait votre colère et votre frustration 

Treat a customer with respect (to)

Definition : to be polite and kind, to be understanding with a customer.

Translation : Traiter un client avec respect 

Listen objectively (to)

Definition : to listen without any preconceived ideas, not to prejudge. 

Translation : Ecouter avec objectivité 

Take care of the customer’s problem (to)

Definition : to deal with the issue. 

Translation : S’occuper du problème du client 

Complain (to)

Definition : to make a complaint, which often involves filling in a form. 

Translation : Se plaindre, poser une réclamation 

Smooth things over (to)

Definition : to sort out a situation in order to find a solution. 

Translation : Arranger les choses 

Nip the complaint in the bud (to)

Definition : to act quickly before the problem escalates. 

Translation : Traiter rapidement une plainte avant qu’elle ne s’amplifie 

Take notes (to)

Definition : to note down comments, to make a short written record. 

Translation : Noter les remarques 

Recap the facts (to)

Definition : to highlight the main points, to summarize, to go over the main facts. 

Translation : Résumer les faits 

I will bring this to the manager’s attention

Definition : I shall inform the manager about this. 

Translation : J’en informerai le directeur 

We don’t usually make mistakes like that

Definition : these kinds of mistakes rarely happen here. 

Translation : Nous n’avons pas l’habitude de commettre de telles erreurs 

Be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty (to)

Definition : to be ready to offer extra help and service, to do more than is required. 

Translation : Etre disposé à faire un effort particulier 

Calm down (to)

Definition : to relax, to become quiet after a state of annoyance. 

Translation : Se calmer 

Suggest solutions (to)

Definition : to propose fixes, to offer alternatives in order to resolve a problem. 

Translation : Proposer des solutions 

Offer a replacement (to)

Definition : to take the original product back and give a new one to the customer.

Translation : Faire un échange 

Have a refund (to)

Definition : to have a reimbursement, to get your money back. 

Translation : Se faire rembourser 

Have a discount (to)

Definition : to have a reduction, to pay less for the product. 

Translation : Obtenir une remise, un escompte 

Get a voucher (to)

Definition : to get a paper which authorizes credit for a future purchase. 

Translation : Avoir un bon d’achat 

Thank you for bringing this problem to our attention

Definition : thank you for having informed us.

Translation : Merci de nous avoir signalé ce problème 

Les usages à respecter:

• Most anglophones are used to the idea that the customer is always right. Keep this in mind when handling customers who are not satisfied.

• Don’t interrupt the customer when he is talking, it is important that he feels he has told the entire story.

• Show you are listening by nodding, saying 'I see', 'Of course' ...

• Avoid folding your arms, finger pointing or standing with your hands on your hips.

• You should try to find a solution as quickly as possible. If you say you will contact the customer on a certain day then you must do so even if the solution has not been found. By keeping your promises, you are showing that you and your company are respectable.

Quelques règles de bon anglais:

Used to

Personal Titles

• «Ms» (UK) or «Ms.» (US) is used for both married and unmarried women. It should not be used for young girls. «Ms» is followed by the person’s last name. Example : Ms Smith.

• «Ma’am» is often used to res pond politely to something a woman says. Do not use it with a name. Example :

– May I help you, ma’am ?

• «Mrs» (UK) or «Mrs.» (US) is used for married women.

• «Mrs» is followed by the person’s last name. Example : Mrs Rielly.

• «Mr» (UK) or «Mr.» (US) is used for both married and unmarried men. • «Sir» is used to respond politely to something a man says. You do not use «sir» with the person’s name. It can also be used in place of a name. Example : – May I help you, sir ?


Fill in the missing word(s), then check the result below :

anger, complain, attention, rectify, bringing this problem, very beginning, refund / replacement, objectively, recap the facts, mistakes, apologies, bud, may, take notes, smooth 

1. I insist on seeing your Managing Director immediately in order to ............ about this ridiculous situation.

2. Customer : I demand to have a ............ for this damaged printer. Salesperson : I’m terribly sorry, our store policy is not to give money back. However, I can offer you a ........... for one which works properly this time.

3. When dealing with an angry customer, it’s important to remain calm and controlled, and to listen ............, so that you don’t take the situation personally.

4. Mrs Debson, the sales associate informed me that there was a slight issue with the product, but I do not have all the details. Could you explain the problem from the ............ ?

5. Good afternoon. I’m Mr Brown, the Floor Manager. How ............ I help you ?

6. Don’t worry about overreacting, Mr Vest. I really do understand your ........... and frustration. This was a very difficult situation for you to be in and I truly apologize on behalf of the company.

7. Mrs Petry is really not happy with our first solution to remedy her dissatisfaction. I’m going to nip this complaint in the ............, before the situation gets any worse.

8. Try to ............ things over with her. We need her future business and cannot afford to have her angry with us !

9. I totally agree, Mr Lane. This situation is completely unacceptable. I’ll give this matter my immediate ............, and I’ll contact you as soon as I have some satisfactory feedback to give you.

10. I am honestly just as shocked as yourself, Mr Jones, about this whole affair. We don’t usually make ........... like that, I can assure you.

11. On behalf of the company, please accept our sincere ............. for any inconvenience caused.

12. So, let’s take this step by step, Mrs Smith. I hope you don’t mind if I ........... as you speak, it’ll help me to remember all the important facts afterwards.

13. I think I’ve got everything. Let’s just quickly ........... to check that we both understand the situation from the same angle.

14. Thank you for .......... to our attention, Mr Brown. Now that we are aware of this mistake, we will ensure that it won’t happen again.

15. So now I have all the details, tell me exactly how we can .......... the situation for you.


SOLUTIONS : 1 : complain. 2 : refund / replacement. 3 : objectively. 4 : very beginning. 5 : may. 6 : anger. 7 : bud. 8 : smooth. 9 : attention. 10 : mistakes. 11 : apologies.12 : take notes. 13 : recap the facts. 14 : bringing this problem. 15 : rectify

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