When it comes to dealing with angry customers, there are basically two kinds of proprietors: those who have done so and those who will. Sadly, despite all of your efforts to the contrary, you will at some point encounter an irritated person and it will be your task to calm them down, find the best solution to their concern and try to keep them in the fold as a loyal patron.
To help you get there, consider these steps for dealing with angry customers.
Put a Smile in Your Voice
Whenever you answer the phone, get in the habit of smiling before you speak. Your caller will hear the smile and be partially disarmed by it. Speaking with a smile on your face conveys friendliness, open-mindedness and a willingness to help. Angry callers expect to encounter confrontation. Hearing a warm voicedeflates their ire, which slows them down a bit.
Personalize, but Don’t Take It Personally
When someone is raining vehemence all around you, it can be difficult to divorce yourself from the situation. It’s important to rememberthey’re upset about the situation, not about you as an individual. Don’t take it personally.
Now, with that said, do take every opportunity to personalize the conversation. Get the person’s name as early as possible in the encounter and use it liberally (but organically) through your interaction. This turns them into a real person, someone with a life and someone to whom you can relate more readily. They will feel the difference and be soothed by it.
Remain Calm and Listen
Do not blow your smooth, regardless of what you hear. Fighting fire with fire only makes a bigger fire. One must heap care and consideration upon anger to quell it. Doing so will help you listen actively, discern the true nature of the issue and find a solution for it. In a lot of cases, people just want to vent their frustration and will calm down once they’ve done so. Sometimes, just listening to themselves as they let off steam makes them realize the concern isn’t as significant as they perceived it to be.
So, when they speak, be quiet; do not interrupt them—even if you already see the solution—and let them say everything they have to say. Once they’ve finished, repeat the situation back to them so they know they’ve been heard.
Express Empathy,Apologize and Work the Problem
Here though you must be tactfully careful. Avoid apologizing for anything you are not empowered to change. After all, if you know a policy rates an apology, you also know it’s wrong and should be changed. If you don’t have the power to do so, you will only frustrate the customer even more. Instead, apologize for their feelings about the situation. “Iunderstand what you’re going through here and I am sorry you’re having this experience. Let’s see what we can do to make this better for you.”
Give Them Choices
Whenever possible, let customers choose their own solutions. Find a couple of remedies you can offer and allow them to decide upon the one they feel would best resolve their concern. This gives them a feeling of empowerment.After all, they will have dictated the best solution for the situation to you—rather than vice versa. They’ll come away from the interaction feeling good about themselves, the result—and you.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Your overriding goal should always be to create loyal customers from whom you can earn repeat business. Statistics show 80 percent of a company’s future profit is derived from 20 percent of its customer base. Additionally, 65 percent of business comes from existing customers—not new ones. Whatever your business; whether you’re considering how to sell furniture online, books, electronics or cosmetics—you’ll do well to bear this in mind.
Any opportunity you have to add another person to that group is a chance to grow your income. And, believe it or not, irritated callers absolutely represent such an opportunity. Don’t pass it up. Adhering to these steps for dealing with angry customers will help you turn them into fans of your business, repeat customers and—your best evangelists.
How? You’ll make them feel like you care.That’sall anybody really wants.