Dealing with difficult customers is an unavoidable part of any business. All issues, however small, must be dealt with quickly, ideally to the customer’s satisfaction. It’s important that your staff are trained to help customers navigate their issues and find a solution quickly and professionally. Focusing your energies training staff to deal with unhappy customers is important for several reasons including:
- Polite and efficient communication and issue resolution will help you retain an unhappy customer
- Positive reviews and feedback from customers can be used for future marketing campaigns and look great to potential new customers
- Your company can develop better products and processes, to prevent the issue from happening again.
5 Tips on How To Deal With Angry Customers
Angry customers are actually your greatest opportunity! Over 90% of those who receive a bad customer service experience won’t patronize that business again, but 68% of those same consumers would actually be willing to pay more to a company with excellent customer service. This article will explore 5 tips proven to help when dealing with difficult customers.
Simple, common-sense solutions like actively listening to an issue from a customer, could make the difference between a successfully handled issue and lost business. When face to face with customers, nodding, making eye contact, and taking notes during your conversation will show the customer you are listening and taking them seriously.
Dealing with difficult customers via phone or text is a bit more complex, as active listening is difficult to display. In this situation, take notes and repeat the customers’ words back to them, to show you are listening. Avoid the impulse to interrupt, even if you can solve their issue immediately. Listening is the greatest asset in your customer service quiver, so don’t underestimate how powerful your silence can be!
2. Don’t Take it Personally
Even though it’s natural to get defensive in a stressful situation of someone else’s doing, good customer service requires an extra bit of self-awareness, allowing you to separate yourself from the issue. Try adopting a mindset of you and the customer against the issue, and focus on finding a solution, together with the customer. Using language like “I’d like to help,” and “If I’m hearing you correctly…” can show an unhappy customer that you take them seriously, and will work to resolve their issue.
3. Show Empathy
Have you ever tried to calm someone down by telling them to “calm down?” It simply doesn’t work, many have discovered it too late when facing an angry wife or customer. People find it very calming when someone takes on their cause and shows empathy for the problem, and the stress it causes. Validate the caller or customer by telling them that you see the problem and will work to find a solution.
Many adopt the mantra “sympathize, empathize and apologize” in their conversations with unhappy customers. You can also share brief stories to show that you have experienced this type of situation before, and understand why it’s so upsetting. Verbalize your sympathy, and try summarizing the pain points back when dealing with difficult customers, to show you have a good understanding of the issue and are considering different solutions.
4. Try to Remain Calm
It’s important to detach from stressful situations, to give yourself the best chance of a successful resolution. Try to match the unhappy customer’s level of frustration with an equal amount of calm and empathy for their issue. Watch your tone carefully for any sarcasm, as this type of reaction is sure to escalate the situation. Try these tips proven to help you stay calm in stressful situations.
- Focus on maintaining an even tone at all times.
- Remember that the customer is angry at the situation, not you.
- Think about how you would feel if this issue had happened to you, and treat the customer how you would like to be treated.
- Take slow calming breaths while the customer is speaking.
- Smile as you speak. People can even hear a smile through a phone!
5. Offer a Solution & Follow Up
At this point you’ve listened and should have a good idea of what the problem is and how to fix it. It’s important to offer a solution that satisfies the customer. Many issues can be solved simply by listening and offering empathy, but be prepared to offer some sort of compensation for the issue. The cost of a refund or shipping a new product to your unhappy customer will be negligible compared to the bad publicity of a bad review or online complaint. By following up with the customer after the transaction is complete, you leave them with a good feeling about your company and the service you’ve provided during a stressful time.
86% of good customer service interactions turn a one-time customer into a long-term, repeat customer. Unhappy customers could potentially be your biggest brand advocates if their issue is handled correctly.
For more information on how to deal with angry customers, or for help getting a professional customer service call center up and running, contact ListenTrust today. ListenTrust serves a wide range of customers in most key verticals including FSI, E-commerce, retail, education, and the medical industry. Take advantage of our years of experience, or one of our many other products or services designed to enhance your brand experience and ultimately, profits, and contact ListenTrust today.
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For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: firstname.lastname@example.org