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5 Tips for How to Deal With an Angry Customer
The customer is always right. That’s how the saying goes. That’s also what you might be thinking when trying to figure out how to deal with an angry customer. No matter what industry you’re in, chances are that you’ve crossed paths with an irate customer more than once.
Their anger and frustration may or may not be justified. Nevertheless, it’s up to you to diffuse the situation and offer an outcome that makes them happy and hopefully retains their business. This is easier said than done, particularly in situations where the customer seems to have created a storm in a teacup.
Trying to deal with an angry customer is never easy. They might fail to see your logic or find whatever solution you’re offering to not be good enough. It requires patience and perseverance to deal with them in a rational and proactive manner.
Before we get to the useful tips on how to deal with them, it’s first important to understand why it’s vital to handle situations with such customers delicately. Improper handling can have significant negative effects on your business.
How Satisfying an Angry Customer Can Help Your Business
An angry and frustrated customer already has a lack of confidence in your business. Since the product or service hasn’t been up to their expectations, often they simply expect the customer service experience to be substandard as well. They’re already prejudiced, and if their concerns aren’t handled adequately, there’s a greater chance that they’ll amplify their frustrations with your company.
That’s not a risk that businesses should be willing to take, especially in this internet and technology age. The internet is the first place people go to find out what existing customers are saying about a company that they’re thinking of buying something from.
With the rise of review sites and social media, it’s now easier than ever for your disgruntled customers to take it upon themselves to write negative reviews of your company. People who search for your products would see that existing customers aren’t having such a great experience. They may abandon plans of buying your products and services.
On the other hand, an angry customer who receives exceptional customer service when they’re least expecting it would be pleasantly surprised. They’re more likely to continue with your business as well as recommend it to others.
Social proof carries immense value for companies selling products and services online. By going the extra mile to deal with customers that aren’t too happy, businesses can reduce churn and expand their customer base over time.
Top 5 Tips on How to Deal With an Angry Customer
1. Keep Calm and Carry On
A customer that’s already angry won’t appreciate being spoken to in an uncertain or — worse — confrontational tone. The last thing they need is the impression that perhaps they’re being accused of making a mountain out of a molehill.
The same holds true for your choice of words. A poor choice can create communication gaps that could only add to your customer’s frustration. Always remember to never take their anger personally.
Focus on the tone and the words you use to keep communication with the customer calm and concise. This ensures that they won’t get riled up or feel that their concerns are not being given the consideration they deserve.
2. Empathize and Make Them Feel Heard
Look at it this way: if the customer didn’t care about your product or didn’t have any faith in it, they probably would have churned already. But they’re reaching out to your team in hopes of finding a solution to their problem so they can continue using your product.
Show empathy. It doesn’t mean agreeing with them or accepting blame entirely. It’s just a way to show them that your company cares about their experience and is there to sort out any issues for them that they might be facing.
If they feel that they have been heard and that their concerns haven’t been brushed off, they’re more likely to be open to the solution that you offer them since the situation would hopefully have already been deescalated by this time.
3. Map Out Your Customer Journey
There may be times that a customer’s journey takes an unexpected detour. This might be due to an implementation schedule or some other important deadline. Not providing adequate forward-facing visibility to customers at this stage is almost like making them fly blind.
The customer should always be aware of the path to their success and any additional steps they might need to take in order to get the full benefit from your product. Be mindful of continuously mapping your customer journey so you can account for any last minute changes.
This will enable the customer service team to better manage customer relationships.
4. Offer a Solution
This is another simple yet powerful way to deal with an angry customer. They’re reached out only because they have a problem, and they need a solution. The customer doesn’t want empty promises or platitudes.
They want their problem to be taken care of. Offer them a solution and walk them through how it will address their issue. Be open to communication. Sometimes they might ask for more information, or more help, and that may be a reasonable request.
Ensure that your customer service representatives are empowered to offer solutions that help address most of the common pain points that you expect customers to experience. That will result in an early resolution and hopefully lead to many happy customers.
5. Don’t Forget to Look After Your Employees
A crucial mistake businesses make when figuring out how to deal with an angry customer is that they forget they need to look after their employees as well.
A Customer Success Manager who’s been fielding angry customers for hours without a break won’t possibly be able to keep up the level of service you would hope or expect from them.
As a team leader, it’s important to be that buffer between your employees and less-than-satisfied customers. It’s what will keep your team productive and functional. Overworked and exhausted employees will rarely meet customers’ expectations.
If your team has a particularly difficult customer whose behavior is negatively impacting your employees on a consistent basis, don’t shy away from terminating a customer relationship. Sometimes, that’s the only and best option.
Guard Against Angry Customers From the Start
You can’t plan for every problem or issue that might arise for one of your customers. If you pay attention to your onboarding process, however, and set your customers up for success from the moment they start using your product, you might just minimize the number of angry customers who pop up.
Check out our ebook, How to Crush SaaS Customer Onboarding: A Roundup of Expert Advice, to see how you can optimize your onboarding process and keep your customers happy from day one.