You respond to an angry customer by remaining calm and listening carefully, not taking it personally, apologising and finding a solution.
These steps are similar to those that help deal with customer complaints, but you need to make doubly sure that in this situation, you don’t make a customer even more angry. As a result, you need to be emotionally receptive.
At some point in your life as a customer services employee, you will need to deal with an angry, upset or frustrated customer. Its perfectly natural to get annoyed when things go wrong, but you must diffuse the situation and help the person as much as possible.
How to Deal with Angry Customers
Remain Calm and Listen Carefully
Examples of dealing with angry customers include when a customer is unhappy with the service or product they have received. This can be really hard to manage when they appear angry and unwilling to listen.
As a result, you need to calm them down by listening to them. A customer may want to rant to someone, and unfortunately you may have to just take it. This can be a result of a variety of reasons, including a problem with the product, a problem with the organisation, or just a really bad day.
But don’t just sit there silently. Assure them that you are listening, by saying words and phrases like ‘of course’, ‘let me make sure I understand this right’ and ‘I’m sorry to hear it’. That way, the customer trusts they have your full attention.
Don’t Take it Personally
In all situations, you need to remind yourself that you are not at fault, as the person is angry at the situation, not you as a person.
They may throw personal insults at your or abuse but try not to let that get you down. Or, even if it did get to you, try your best to stay professional in the conversation. Remember: you need to get the customer on your side to tackle the problem together.
The customer may want to speak to a manager or director in the organisation. If that is possible then go right ahead. If not, then reassure the customer that the manager will be with them as soon as they are available.
Next, you should apologise for the inconvenience caused by the problem.
With an angry customer, you shouldn’t spend too long apologising at they normally want a solution quickly. But let them know that this isn’t what the organisation wants, and they will try everything to fix the problem.
If the customer has a genuine problem with a product or service, then you need to take responsibility. Own the mistake and explain it’s your problem. If you feel like it is a problem on the customer’s end, try to calm them down. Furthermore, explain why you may not be able to help. In both cases, you need to apologise because you don’t want to see any customer, loyal or new, move to another competing brand.
Find a Solution
Dealing with difficult customers rests on finding an appropriate solution for them.
Some solutions may take a while to complete, so relay the information to the design and manufacturing side of the organisation to get an idea of a time frame. It may be a widespread issue, so reassure the customer that your case isn’t unique, and the organisation is doing everything it can to fix the problem.
When you implement your solution, make sure to follow-up with the customer. This is important, as you need to double-check that your solution was satisfactory and made the customer happy.
For more information, you can view our online customer services pathway. This set of courses includes our very own angry customers training. It will help your employees stay cool, calm and collected when they deal with angry customers.