How Can Medical Sales Reps Handle a Customer Conflict?

The job role of medical sales reps is to communicate with clients and sell them medical equipment and services. Conflicts are bound to happen, and sales reps need to know how to handle them. 

If you’re a medical sales rep looking for tips on handling customer conflict, then this article is for you. We will give you some tips to help you effectively deal with customer disputes without losing your customers. 

Why do customer conflicts happen?

Conflicts can arise due to different reasons such as pricing, product quality and delivery issues. In some cases, customers might be unaware of what they’re buying or have unrealistic expectations.

Whatever the reason, sales reps must take the initiative to resolve the conflict. In most cases, customers just want their problems to be heard and addressed. If you’re able to do that, then you’re on your way to resolving the conflict.

Tips for Effective Customer Conflict Resolution

Even the best medical sales reps face conflict with their clients from time to time. To help, here are some tips to resolve them properly without harming your relationships with your clients. 

1. Listen

The first rule of conflict management is to let the customers talk, even if they are angry. This will help you understand their point of view and the reason for their anger. Once you know that, it will be easier for you to resolve the issue.

Also, letting them speak and listening intently shows them that you’re interested in hearing their side of the story. This will help calm them down and make them more receptive to what you say.

2. Understand and reassure

The next step for managing customer conflicts is to understand the customer’s problem and devise a solution to address their concerns. In some cases, customers might just want reassurance that their problem will be resolved.

In such cases, giving them a timeline for when the issue will be resolved is vital. It will help to build trust and confidence in your services. 

3. Don’t react to anger

One of the essential rules of customer-employee conflict management is not to react in a negative way. This will only worsen the situation, and the customer will be even more unhappy.

Moreover, your angry behavior could affect your reputation and damage the company’s reputation as well. Therefore, it is crucial to stay calm and professional at all times. This will help diffuse the situation, and you will be able to resolve the issue more efficiently.

4. Ask them questions

In order to get more clarity regarding their concerns, it is important to ask the customers questions. Asking questions will help you understand their problem better, and you can come up with a more suitable solution.

Also, note that irrelevant questions will only aggravate the customers and can worsen the conflict. Therefore, it is crucial only to ask relevant questions that will actually help you resolve the customer conflict.

5. Show that you care about their concerns

While you communicate with customers during a conflict, you must show that you care about their concerns. This will help build a rapport with the customers, and they will be more likely to trust you.

The best way to do this is by using empathy statements like, “I understand how you feel” or “I can see why you’re upset.” By using “I” statements, you’re showing that you care about their concerns and are trying to empathize with them.

If you show them that you care about their concerns, you’re building trust and goodwill with the customers. This will go a long way in resolving the conflict.

6. Be assertive

In some cases, customers might be unreasonable, and they might not be willing to listen to your side of the story. To handle such toxic clients, assertiveness and standing your ground are essential.

However, do note that being assertive doesn’t mean that you should be rude or disrespectful to the customers. It is important to find a balance between being assertive and being polite. This will help you resolve the customer conflict more effectively.

7. Consider their suggestions

In some conflict cases, customers might have some good suggestions regarding resolving their problems. It is essential to consider their suggestions and see if it is feasible to implement them. If not, you can offer alternative solutions to address their concerns.

However, do note that you should not make promises that you cannot keep. This will only damage your company’s reputation.

8. Keep your tone empathetic

Your tone of voice plays a significant role in customer conflict management. It is beneficial to keep your tone empathetic and understanding. This will help diffuse the situation, and the customer will be more receptive to your suggestions. 

Moreover, a compassionate tone will also help build customer faith and loyalty.

9. Assure them they are your priority

Customers always want to feel that their problems are being taken seriously and they will be given priority. In order to do this, it is critical to assure them that their issue will be resolved as soon as possible.

Moreover, it is also essential to keep the customers updated about the progress of the issue and when it will be resolved. 

10. Ask if you can help them in any other manner

This is one of the most ignored components of handling a customer conflict. Always remember that a client conflict is an opportunity to turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal client. 

So, once you have resolved their issue, it is crucial to see if you can help them in any other way. If they have any other concerns or feedback, make sure to address them.

Moreover, you can even offer them a discount or promotion as a goodwill gesture.

This represents that you value your customers and are willing to go the extra mile to help them. It shows that you care about their issues and view your customer’s problems as your own. 

11. End the conversation on a positive note

It’s important to end the conversation on a positive note for a successful conflict resolution. This will leave the customers with a good impression of your company, and they will be more likely to do business with you in the future.

Moreover, it is also important to thank the customers for their time and patience. Last but not least, assure them that you’re looking forward to serving them again in the future. This will show that you value their time and are grateful for their business.

12. Don’t forget to follow up

Follow-ups are not limited to post-interviews. In fact, they play a decisive role in resolving customer conflicts as well. After you have settled the discord, make sure to follow up with the customers. Ensure that they’re satisfied with the resolution. This will show how much your business values its clients.

It is also important to apologize for any inconvenience that might have been caused due to the conflict. This will show that you’re sincere about your apology and willing to make things right.


Customer conflicts can arise due to several reasons. But whatever the reason, it’s vital to the success of your career to handle them efficiently. 

Still, handling a client conflict is not an easy task. It can be tough and challenging at times. So, the next time you’re dealing with a conflict, keep the above-listed tips in mind and amicably resolve the discord. This will help to build goodwill and create a loyal client base who will stick with you throughout your career.