10 Tips For Dealing With Angry Customers
At alldayPA, we have ample experience with all things customer service. Our contact centres are filled with experts providing exceptional customer service to businesses across the UK. So, we decided to pool together our knowledge and share the top 10 tips on dealing with angry customers.
Be an active listener
When a customer is relating their problem to you, they want to know they are being heard. Pay close attention to the words they are saying rather than the manner in which they are expressing them.
By actively listening to an upset customer, you can find the root of the problem and figure out how to resolve it. This will work better than simply passively listening to them as they will be satisfied they are being taken seriously.
Active listening will enable you to focus on the language they are using. For example, if a customer – despite using an angry tone of voice – says he is dissatisfied with one of your products, the ideal response would be ‘Sorry to hear that. Let’s see how we can fix this for you.’ In using this language, you are demonstrating that you have been paying attention to the customer and their query, resulting in a positive outcome.
Wash away the fear
Being on the receiving end of an angry, frustrated customer can be overwhelming. It is never nice to hear something you have put your heart and soul into is not being received well by someone. It can be hard to challenge a customer when they are coming at you with full force, especially if you are unsure about how best to deal with the issue.
In this situation, you need to let go of the idea that you need an immediate solution to the customer’s problem. Sit down, listen to what they have to say, understand their concerns, then ascertain the best ways in which to deal with the issue, i.e., outline the next steps.
When you are struck with fear, your first instinct is to apologise and say sorry. Replacing this by saying ‘That is shame to hear’. This will allow you to infuse confidence in yourself and give you a sense of control of the situation.
Validate your customers feelings
When dealing with an angry customer, it is very easy to try and explain your position, but the best way to deal with them is to validate their feelings and understand they feel like they have been taken advantage of.
The key to avoiding any conflict is to remember they are a real person. Make sure they feel heard and not take what they say personally. In not taking the complaint personally, you will be able to refrain from getting angry yourself and stay in control of the situation. This will allow you to listen carefully to any unhappy customers, find out their frustrations, and seek out a solution for them.
Anger is usually the first emotion customers feel when something has not gone their way. Allow the angry person time to cool down before discussing the matter with them further.
Remain as calm as a cucumber
Conflict resolution is part of any customer-facing business. The way in which you react to these conflicts will determine the success of your business. (Customers are less likely to purchase something from you if you are known for poor customer service.)
If you find yourself getting wound up because of angry customers, try taking frequent deep breaths and ensure you take regular breaks in between calls to allow you some respite once the call has finished.
Use your tool kit
As part of your role in dealing with difficult customers, you will have to undergo some customer service training. If this isn’t something on your to-do list already, it is worth investing in. As part of the training, you will be given tools and tricks of the trade to use when on the job.
You will have been able to role play ‘angry customer scenarios’. This could include strategically placing your customer on hold to allow them time to cool down or confirming with a colleague to see if they agree with the next steps you have outlined. Of course, the techniques you use will differ from customer to customer, depending on the situation.
Thank them for alerting you of the issues
Showing your customer that you appreciate that they brought a certain issue to your attention will go a long way toward customer satisfaction.
You do this by returning the negative language they use with positive language. During the call, thank them for getting in touch and sharing their concerns with you.
In doing this, you will have de-escalated the situation and made your customers happy and feel like a valued part of your business.
There is nothing worse than trying to appease your customer’s concerns using false sincerity. By showing them authentic empathy, you can change the situation around and provide the customer with a positive customer experience.
You can practise this by focusing on what you can do for the customer. Forget about what they can do for you for a moment and instead ask yourself what you can do for them. To them, the issues they are dealing with will feel personal, so they expect your response to be personal too. This applies whether you are speaking to them on the phone or writing to them via a messaging system.
If you are writing to them, be mindful of the language you are using. Write to them in the way you would speak to them if they were in front of you and use their name when speaking to them.
Present to them the active steps you will take to resolve the issue
Customers want to know they are being taken seriously and their concerns are being addressed. The last thing they want is to take the time out of their day to bring you up to speed with an issue, only for you to reply without any commitment to resolving the issue. You need to demonstrate you are taking their tone of voice and bad experience seriously.
During your call with the customer, after they have cooled off, share the steps you will be taking to resolve this issue for them. This could be compensation or escalating the issue to a specialist department – whatever the correct procedure is for the individual case, customers appreciate knowing what they can expect following the phone call.
Adjust your mindset
When dealing with an angry customer, it is important to put yourself in the customer service mindset. This is where the customer services packages from alldayPA will be worth investing in as all our employees are trained and able to demonstrate tapping into the customer service mindset. To discuss how we can help you deal with angry customers, get in touch today.
Offer them a follow up if required
Most customer service teams underestimate the value of a follow-up call. Make time to check back in with your customers – either to update them on how their enquiry is going or to ensure they are happy with the solution offered (for example, if they received compensation or a replacement as a result of the issue). This level of going above and beyond for your customer will prevent you losing their custom despite the negative experience.
Need support handling difficult customers? Get in touch with alldayPA today
At alldayPA, we have a range of customer service packages to help you serve your customers effectively. Taking the hassle of customer service out of your hands and letting the experts take over gives you time that you can pour back into your business.