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Thursday, 1 October 2020

8 Ways on How to Deal with Angry Customers


Customers are human as well and they also feel anger and happiness. Although customers can react angrily towards you, your customers aren't expressing frustration with you. These emotions are very often tied to external situations and psychological stimulus that is beyond your control. The trick is to put your great communication skills to work and draw attention to reading the situation to manage angry customers.

Below are 8 ways about how you can manage and solve angry customers to drive more retention and sales.

1. Remain calm

This is so important and is so easy to get wrong. If a customer sends you an agry email, or starts shouting at you on the phone it's hard not to take that personally. You'll likely instinctively feel a bristle of defensiveness as thoughts pop into your head of how wrong that customer can be, how much hard work has been carried out and you'll start to feel angry very quickly.

Instead, take a second to breathe and process what your customer is actually saying. More often than not you'll notice that in between the angry words that the customer is struggling or frustrated with your product or service, and all they need is somewhere to channel their frustrations.

For example, if a customer calls your support team and is upset about their delivery date. Here's how you can respond. Remain calm and ask the 3 what questions to accurately determine the issue:

  • What is the problem?
  • What is the customer's goals?
  • What are your options?

2. Practice active listening

Pay close attention to the words the customer is saying instead of focusing on the anger behind the words.

For example, let's say a customer walks into your store and says, "Your product stopped working a few days after I purchased it. I'm really surprised how poorly it's designed."

You may tempted to to reply with something like, "I understand your frustration". However, notice how this response only escalates the customers frustrations? Instead demonstrate active listening by using the same language your customer is using. Say something like, "That certainly is surprising! Let's see why your product has stopped working unexpectedly." This response acknowledges the customer's feelings without escalating their emotions.

3. Repeat back what your customers say

A key part of active listening is to make sure that you and your customer are on the same page. This is to better determine what is the root cause of the anger.

For example, you can start by saying, "What I'm hearing is ..." as a start to get the conversation going, and like the previous example, repeat their vocabulary back to them and if possible highlight how the problem is preventing from achieving their goal.

4. Thank them for bringing the issue to your attention

When your customer sounds angry and negative about the situation you should thank them for voicing their concerns. You'd be surprised just a simple notion like this can go a long way toward building good rapport with them.

For example, the easiest way to thank your customer is to do it constantly. When the customer begins a service inquiry thank them for reaching out to your team. When you're working on a case and there's a long period of silence thank the customer for "bearing with you as you troubleshoot their case" and when a customer provides you feedback either positive or negative thank them for sharing their perspective and making your support team better.

5. Explain the steps you'll take to solve the problem

Make it clear to the customer what you'll do to get started addressing their concern. Whether it's something simple that you can do over the phone or if you'll need to walk through the process with them. Spell out your next moves. 

6. Set a time to follow-up with them, if needed

Sometimes, problems can't be solved in just one phone call and might require a combined team effort. If this is the case then let the customer know why you can't handle the issue on the phone with them, and give them a timeline of when they can expect to hear from you next.

For example if you need to set up a follow-up time with a customer, the best thing you can do is to explain why the break will benefit them. If the customer is uneasy about this proposal, reassure them by providing a contingency plan. Let them know exactly when you'll reach out next and what information you expect to have by that time.

7. Be sincere

Just as important as remaining calm when dealing with an angry customer, it's important to be since too. Customers can tell when they're being spoken to in a patronizing or equally angry manner. For example, customers will call you with a problem and can sometimes be a user-error and although tempting it is important to remember that this is from the perspective of the customer and it governs the quality and service experience.

8. Highlight the case's priority.

A common frustration for customers is the feeling that their support case isn't important to your business. When your company is dealing with thousands of inquiries each day, some customers feel like their case is expandable and that your team can afford to provide an occasional poor experience. It's important that you remove that feeling by highlighting how important the case is to you. For example, one situation where this is common is when putting customers on hold or asking to follow up with them. 

Conclusion

Often we're forced to put customers on hold or to ask to follow up back with them, and may be interpreted as an excuse for the salesperson driving further anger from customers, but the best way is to justify their actions. All they need to do is to explain how your support process works and why a break is necessary for their case. For example, you can say, "it looks like I need to speak with a product expert about this error. That's going to require me to put you on hold to track them down, but the sooner I do that, the sooner I should have the tools I need to troubleshoot your case."

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