By Loyalty Leader
Customers get angry for a variety of reasons—some justified, some not. Anyone who deals with customers will likely encounter rude or angry individuals once and awhile. How you respond can make the difference between a customer who feels satisfied with the resolution 1. and one who vows never to patronize your business again.
Talking to an angry customer is never easy but following these steps can help to put your customers at ease and show them that you want to help so you can get to a resolution much quicker. Handling angry customers is just part of the customer service industry but it isn’t the end of the world. In fact, helping customers find solutions to their problems can be quite rewarding and actually build loyalty when handled correctly.
Here are the 7 steps to follow when a customer complains:
1. Listen carefully to the person who is angry.
This requires active listening which means you need to stop what you’re doing to concentrate. An angry customer needs to know that they are being heard and that you are fully engaged in the conversation. Concentrate solely on what the customer is telling you. Make notes of the key facts and their concerns, so that you have a record of the conversation to refer to in the future.
2. Let your customer vent for a few minutes if necessary.
A really angry customer sometimes needs to vent their frustrations. Give them a chance to do so as long they are not using obscenities or abusive language. Don’t interrupt. Remain calm and in control. Above all, remember that you are representing your company and they are not attacking you personally.
3. Show empathy for your customer’s concerns.
Let them know that you sincerely care about the problem even if you don’t agree with their comments. If you or your company made a mistake, admit it. If it is a misunderstanding, you can respond in a supportive, concerned tone of voice, “I can see how that would be incredibly frustrating for you.” You are not necessarily agreeing with what the customer is saying, but respecting how he or she perceives and feels about the situation.
4. Thank your customer for complaining.
Yep. Even when customers are being a bit nasty, you can begin to change the tone of the conversation dramatically by sincerely thanking them for bringing the problem to your attention. This shows the customer that you genuinely care about what they are sharing and you appreciate the opportunity to resolve the problem.