Despite your best efforts to offer excellent customer service and provide quality products, some customers may likely be dissatisfied. Some may even be angry and frustrated.
One angry customer can cause significant damage to your company’s reputation if they or their issue is not handled well. However, if you get ahead of it, they can be an opportunity to present your business as credible and committed to the customers. To deal with dissatisfied customers amicably, many businesses use review websites such as PissedConsumer.com where consumers share feedback.
Often, customers go to such platforms to complain about various businesses. Companies that keep a close eye on the business reviews online actively seek customer feedback, respond timely and even improve their reputation. They stand out as caring for their existing customers leading to customer satisfaction. Consequently, they inspire customer loyalty and attract new customers.
6 Tips for Handling Angry Customers
It might be tempting to ignore an angry customer with the hope that they will come down or forget the issue over time. Doing so is a sure way of losing a customer.
Some customers may walk away from your business silently, but others may go on to rave about how bad your business is to their family, friends, and leave online reviews. Such negative customer communication about your business may steer away existing and potential customers.
Therefore, if an angry customer comes to you with a complaint or comes across negative online reviews, address the issue immediately to prevent it from escalating further.
Allow the Customer the Right to Be Angry
No matter how minor the issue may seem to you, the customer has the right to feel angry if their expectations were not met or they were inconvenienced. Do not try to play it down by saying things such as, “that is such a small issue.”
Instead, allow the customer to express their issue, listen attentively, and reiterate their description of the issue to confirm that you heard them and understood.
It Is Not Personal
Some customers may express their anger by being rude or abusive. Don’t get caught up in it. In most cases, the customer is not angry with you, rather with your business, services, products, policies, or procedures.
Remain calm and patient. Acknowledge the issue repeatedly to help the customer to calm down. Do not interrupt them when they are in the middle of an outburst. Stay grounded and take deep breaths as you listen and wait for your turn to talk. When there is a natural opening, speak softly and in a reassuring tone.
Own the Problem
It does not matter what transpired; own your part in the problem and commit to the customer to do your best to resolve the issue. Do not transfer the blame to another person or department. To the customer, your business is one unit, and they shouldn’t have to feel like they are being taken around without a solution.
Figure Out a Winning Solution for the Customer
Analyze consumer complaints to figure out the root cause. Seek clarifications from your customer where necessary. Also, find out what would be an ideal solution for them. If you cannot do exactly as they want, see if you can reach a compromise. Keep in mind that you may have to lose on this one for the greater good of the business.
If it is a systemic issue, take corrective measures to ensure that the same or related problems do not come up again for that client or different clients.
Only follow up after offering the customer a winning solution and taking corrective measures. Allow sufficient time before the follow-up (14-30 days is a great waiting period) to give the customer ample time for the anger to subside. Otherwise, you risk stirring up the anger again. Demonstrate compassion, attentiveness, and commitment to high-quality customer service and products.
Delivering exceptional customer service and putting the customers’ needs first is not always easy. However, suppose you can recognize the value in a complaint and master how to deal with irate customers patiently and professionally. In that case, you will be setting up your business for great success. Therefore, monitor your consumer reviews closely and actively seek feedback. Address complaints and negative reviews as soon as they come up and aim to reach a winning solution for the customer.