Want to avoid angry customers altogether? See the 10 Most Common Mistakes Contractors Make
Dealing with angry customers is probably at the bottom of your list of things you want to do, but it’s simply something that can’t be ignored. If it makes you feel any better, people in every industry have to deal with the same thing, and even the best companies in the world hear from irate customers. The best thing you can do is have a plan for how to respond professionally after listening to an irate customer’s complaints.
Handling this situation over the phone is tricky since you’re not able to use visual cues like facial expressions to asses the situation like you’d be able to in person. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to delivering expert-level customer service.
We know it’s tough to listen to an angry or upset person, especially if they’re yelling. Listen to what they’re saying — or trying to say between swear words — and make an attempt to calm them down. It’s easier said than done, but have patience and stay professional. Let them say what they called you to say. They want to feel heard.
Make sure you don’t interrupt them. Again, an angry customer often just wants to feel heard and be acknowledged. And don’t let their anger upset you or make you angry — it’s not personal.
When you sense they’ve reached the end point of their venting, take a deep breath and respond. Acknowledge that you’ve heard what they’ve just told you by saying something as simple as “I understand your frustration and I apologize,” in an assuring tone, and then go on to repeat what the issues they’re calling about are so they know you were really listening. Once you’ve done that, explain some options to them and how each one could solve the problem. If it’s a rare instance that you cannot fix the problem, apologize and tell them why you cannot fix it. Good, professional communication is key here, and an angry customer should calm down when they realize you’re doing the best you can.
The worst thing you could do is argue with an angry customer — that’s only going to fuel the fire to the point of really scary, engulfing flames. You want to calm the person down, not upset them more.
It’s all about customer satisfaction, and trust plays a big part in that. Once you’ve responded to an angry customer and offered solutions, let them know you’re there for them should they have any more issues and that they should feel free to call you to let you know about it so you can make it right.
One last note: Keep in mind that if your company has a policy in place for dealing with angry customers, it’s best to follow that in order to keep your job.