Dealing with someone upset at your business is inevitable. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes a customer’s problem is out of anyone control. Using a wrong address, shipping an incorrect item, or even overcooking a cheeseburger – these mistakes happen from time to time and you’re going to have to talk down an upset customer. If you have to deal with angry customers, remember these tips and you’ll be able to diffuse any situation.
Don’t Throw Gas On The Fire
You don’t want to escalate a problem by shouting back at a customer or claiming the problem is their own doing. No matter how angry a customer is, you can’t hurl insults back at them and expect to come to a reasonable compromise. Keep your cool and allow the angry customer to vent their frustration. If you can remain calm long enough for the customer to get all their anger out, you’ll be on the path to a resolution.
Repeat What They Say So They Know You Are Listening
The customer needs to know they’re being heard. One of the best ways to let a customer know their complaint is being taken seriously is to repeat certain phrases back to them so they know you’re listening clearly. Don’t patronize the customer by repeating what they say verbatim, but repeating a few phrases like “so you received your package 3 days late” or “the WiFi signal has been shaky for a week now” lets the customer know you’re paying attention.
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Actually Listen Too
Don’t just pay lip service to the customer by repeating them either. While the step above provides the customer some comfort, you need to actually listen to them and understand the nature of their problem. Treat each customer as an individual, not just another person in a long line of complainers. A customer likely just wants their problem resolved with the least resistance, so really listen to their words and empathize with their concerns. We’re all human here afterall.
Don’t Take It Personal
Remember, the customer is mad because their experience with your company wasn’t up to expectations. They are not mad at YOU personally. You must remember this when dealing with particularly hostile customers. They don’t want your blood, they just want a resolution to their problem. So don’t take the harshness personally, you are their conduit into the company. They’re mad at the company, not you.
Do Your Best To Find A Solution
The customer may not always be right, but you should do your best to make them leave happy. Sometimes an issue with have a simple solution like a refund or a replacement. But there will also be higher magnitude issues that might require something free to placate the customer. Each customer has different wants when they make a complaint, so do you best to resolve each problem with individual solutions. There’s no one-size-fits-all option when dealing with angry customers. If stay calm and let the customer know you’re on their side, a solution will always be within grasp.
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