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7 Tips for Dealing with an Angry Customer

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every customer you serviced left happy and satisfied? Unfortunately it’s not a perfect world and at some point you will inevitably find yourself having to deal with a frustrated or irate customer. Research has shown that an unhappy customer is likely to share their bad experience with between 10 and 20 people so the last thing you want to do is make things worse. The good news is there are some easy methods you can use to diffuse the situation and hopefully turn them into happy, loyal customers.

Remain Calm – It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment when a customer is acting angry. But responding in anger or frustration will only serve to escalate an already volatile situation. Remain calm and keep your own emotions in check at all times.

Be Patient – As a busy business owner you probably find yourself constantly trying to rush to get things done. It can be easy to apply this same method to any issue that comes up including complaints; however when it comes to an angry customer patience is key. Making them feel like you’re rushing them will only serve to frustrate them further.

Listen – Sometimes all it takes to calm a frustrated customer is simply giving them the opportunity to voice their concerns and vent. Show them that you respect their feelings and encourage them to explain what the problem is so that you can come to an agreeable resolution.

Reiterate – Once your customer has had the chance to explain why they’re upset, show them that you were listening by calmly repeating what they’ve told you (take notes if you’ve got a bad memory). This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page before moving forward.

Identify the Core Problem – The next step is to identify the exact issue at hand. Did your customer receive poor service? Was something not delivered on time? Whatever the issue, pinpoint it and get it corrected as quickly as possible to avoid any further fallout.

Correct the Bigger Issue – Once you’ve taken care of the immediate concern of your customer, you may need to address any underlying issues that may be occurring. For example, if your client was angry because he or she felt they received bad service, you may need to consider retraining your staff to prevent the same issue from occurring again.

Follow Up – This is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve taken care of the problem, reach out to your customer and let them know what steps you’ve taken to resolve the issue. This shows them that you value their business and take their concerns seriously and it can also mean the difference between simply diffusing a situation and creating a long-term, loyal customer.

Obviously there are some situations that simply cannot be resolved to a customer’s satisfaction, but most of the time all it takes is a little patience and attention to turn a negative experience into a positive result.


posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 8:41 AM