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7 Proven Ways to Deal With Angry Customers

You’re not perfect. No one is. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes running your service business. Whether it’s arriving late to a service call or accidentally breaking the vase in your customer’s house that has been passed down for 7 generations. And sometimes, no matter how right you do things, certain customers can just be hard to please.

If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to deal with angry customers like:

“See this?! It means I’m a world karate champion. I’d kick your a** in a second.”

Or

“Tomorrow I’m going to come back and buy this place, send you on a business trip to Peru, and fire your a** while you’re there.”

These are obviously extreme (yet real-life) examples of customer rage. Here’s how you can deal with the every day angry customers that eventually will/have come your way.

1. Don't Get Angry

When a customer becomes angry, it can be hard to not become angry yourself—spiralling into a yelling war and ultimately solving nothing. Do your best to not lose control, no matter how angry the customer makes you. You need to remain calm so that you can solve the customer’s issue.

2. Hear Them Out

Angry customers want someone to take their frustration out on—and, unfortunately, you’re that person. Do your best to listen patiently and make them feel like you understand why they’re frustrated. Show that you are acknowledging their problem by:

  •      Rephrasing the issue, showing you understand what they were trying to say
  •      Maintaining eye contact when rephrasing the issue to the customer
  •      Not having an aggressive stance: uncross your arms and face the customer

3. Use the Customer's Name

Do your best to catch your customer’s name and make a point of using it during the conversation. Using the customer’s name can make an apology more personal, and remind you that you’re dealing with a real person.

“I’m sorry about that Ryan” sounds more sincere than “I’m sorry about that Sir”.

4. Smile

Smiling is one of the most important things that you can do.

You’d be surprised at how much smiling can help you exude a positive demeanor. The next time you talk to an angry customer try to smile, not only will you look friendlier but you’ll sound friendlier. Smiling while talking gets rid of the tension people have in their voice when annoyed or frustrated.

5. Apologize

You probably expected to see this point somewhere in the post. When a customer is angry, apologizing can be the main thing that’ll calm them down. Apologizing can be more powerful than you may think.

In a study conducted by the Carey School of Business, 37 percent of customers were satisfied when they received some type of compensation without an apology. When businesses gave compensation and an apology, customer satisfaction significantly increased to 74 per cent. Undoubtedly, apologizing can help customers stay a customer.

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6. Fix Their Problem

Try your best to find a solution to the customer’s problem. If you’re not sure what could solve the customer’s issue, ask him/her what could be done or offer your own suggestion.

Myth: any conflict that you encounter can and should be resolved.

You’ll find that in some instances, there isn’t always a solution. Particularly when customers ask you to:

  •      Do something illegal
  •      Violate safety regulations
  •      Go against your own morals

If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation like the ones mentioned above, explain why their request can’t be fulfilled. Don’t fall back on “it’s our policy” people want to know why their request is being rejected.

7. Recharge

Dealing with an angry customer can be frustrating and take a toll on anyone. Take the time that you need to recharge your batteries. Don’t allow yourself to keep feelings of frustration inside. Try to do something else for a while, take a walk or go talk to someone who can make you laugh. Removing yourself from the place where the stressful situation occurred will give you the peace of mind to get back to work.

How do you deal with angry customers? Let us know in the comments below.

Angry customer? Get back in their good books with these 7 strategies. Learn More

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