The Employee Engagement Blog

The Employee Engagement Blog

How to Deal with Angry Customers

Posted by Stephen Spiegel on Dec 5, 2018 9:01:00 AM

Regardless of the hurricane of emotions angry customers might inspire, matching their tone is the worst possible course of action

The fact of the matter is, how a company responds to satisfied clientele plays a crucial role in developing consumer loyalty. Knowing how to deal with upset patrons not only diffuses your own anger but it also brings your business back into a favorable light.

6 ways to diffuse the tension — and impress the utterly unimpressed

When we engage emotionally, we tend to fall off balance — whether it be the intoxication of love or recklessness of rage. The thing is, when a company succumbs to the later, it’s incredibly unflattering. To gain and maintain customer respect, businesses must establish a sense of grace and control — even when customers are being unreasonable.

Here’s how to keep off the emotional hot-seat when dealing with upset customers.

  1. Understand your role. Often times angry customers, whether they can help it or not, need to express their emotions — don’t take it personally, instead, see it an opportunity to learn. Not only is there valuable feedback in their anger, matching their emotional intensity is sure to enrage their fire, so stay calm, and…
  2. Be empathetic. Sometimes being calm can be interpreted as aloof. Make sure to express sincere concern for the customer’s situation, and apologize for letting them down.
  3. Listen carefully. Another excellent way to stoke an irate customer is by failing to listen to their complaint. Ask questions if anything is not clear — it’ll help you in the long run, and up the empathy factor.
  4. Ensure you are understanding. After a customer’s had a chance to express their complaint, repeat it back to them to the best of your understanding. Ask if you’re leaving anything out, and be brief — one complaint about complaining is it takes time.
  5. Take action. If the problem can be fixed, offer the solution. If it’s unfixable, and within company policy, inquire as to how they’d like to be compensated for the shortcoming. The goal should be ensuring your willingness to do all you can to make things right.
  6. It’s not over, ’till it’s over. Whether the issue takes time to resolve or can be accomplished right away, don’t call the case closed without following up. Sometimes customers simply don’t have the time to express their grievances, especially after already issuing a complaint. A quick call or email asking if everything was handled to their satisfaction can do wonders for customer loyalty.

Apathy is the enemy of loyalty. Neglecting to respond to angry customers — whether intentional or not — sends a clear message: “We don’t care.” Addressing concerns is crucial to creating a positive customer experience especially when things go wrong.

Customer experience all comes down to caring

The point of all this is creating a favorable customer experience even when things go terribly wrong. The foundation for that experience is customer care: How your company interacts with its client base.

To learn more about exceeding your customer's expectations, visit our blog, Customer Service or Customer Care: What’s the Difference?”

Topics: Customer experience, Customer Care, customer satisfaction, using customer feedback