It happens in no matter what industry you are in. It is bound to happen that you may just have a customer come in the showroom today that isn't 100% happy about something. It could be that a car wasn't there when they got there that they saw online down to a clean for delivery that wasn't satisfactory. It happens everyday whether we know it or not. Some may be just more vocal than others about their dissatisfactions.
The other day I was at AT&T taking care of an issue with one of our phones. A customer walks in and starts dropping language like he just came out of the service and off the ship. (I wanted to say "earmuffs" to my kids.) I watched everything transpire and the manager stepped in and asked the customer to leave immediately due to his language. He didn't bother asking what the issue was, but just dismissed him from the store. The manager could have tried to slow the customer down a little and try to get to the bottom of the issue by asking a few questions. Once he knew what the issue was he could have put the following process into affect.
Empathy - "Mr. Customer, I understand where you are coming from. I may feel the same way as well if I were in your shoes." Let the customer know that you are on their side. We all know that we don't want to have a dissatisfied customer. Too much can happen on and off line if we happen to have a disgruntled customer.
Apologize - "Mr. Customer, I apologize about this situation." Be sincere no matter what the circumstance may be. Is the customer right ALL the time? We all know that answer, but we do have to respect what happened and be apologetic about the situation.
Responsibility - Take responsibility either as a company or individually. If it were the clean up departments flaw, apologize on their behalf. If it is on a salesperson's actions or words, apologize as a manager on their behalf.
Solution - Ask the customer what they think a good resolution is. They may have a good resolution that we may not know about. When you come to a resolution, take action on it personally and don't let the ball drop. The last thing you want is an upset customer even more upset about the situation.
When you have a plan like this in place, you should be able to take a disgruntled customer and turn it around to make them a happy customer. These are some of the best customers to have do a review on. "I came in unhappy about ______, and this person took the bull by the horns and got things right." This will show that you as a company do genuinely care about the customer and their satisfaction level and you are there to make it right with them.