Why is it important to handle angry customers?
Regardless of the industry, whether it’s auto or travel, all businesses strive to create awesome products and serve their customers. But as much as we would like, not every customer is going to be satisfied with our product or service. We’ve all had angry customers who are unhappy with our product or service and want to express their dissatisfaction.
The question of “why do these customers matter” can be answered in a variety of ways. One reason is you don’t want to lose your customers. If you have an angry customer, they’ll most likely not give you another chance at impressing them. Therefore, if you have an unhappy customer, this is your only shot at getting them back on board.
Another reason why it’s important is that these days, word of mouth travels fast thanks to social media and the internet. In fact, American Express conducted a survey that found Americans across the board are more prone to share regarding poor service experiences than good service.
As a result, failure to properly manage angry customers can lead to bad reviews that spread rapidly through the internet.
This article focuses on the importance of handling such angry customers well and what it means for your business.
7 ways to handle angry customers
Most business owners think angry customers are bad for business, but this isn’t always the case.
Angry customers are actually good for business because they indicate that you have a product worth caring about. That means you have the opportunity to turn them around and convert their customer experience into a positive one.
Here are seven ways to handle a customer’s anger and transform it into a positive customer relationship.
1. Practice active listening.
The goal of active listening is not to agree with everything an angry customer says; rather, it’s about listening closely enough so that you can find common ground between you and your customer.
Did you know that 33% of customers get most frustrated having to repeat themselves to customer support agents? This can be because the agents are not actively listening and comprehending the root cause of the customer’s issue. This is where active listening comes in.
A customer service representative’s main job is to listen to customers and provide solutions for them. But listening skills aren’t always enough; your support team needs to be able to communicate as well. Use your communication skills when talking with upset customers by asking questions and listening to what they say before speaking yourself.
You can also use active listening techniques such as saying the customer’s name and repeating back what the other person said in your own words or asking for clarification if you don’t understand something they said. This will ensure that both parties are on the same page about what needs to happen next.
For example, let’s say a customer calls in and says they’ve been incorrectly charged $50 on their account. A good way to respond would be: “So I understand that you were upset because you believe we incorrectly charged you $50 on your account, am I right?” Using reflective listening will ensure you understand the customers concern and can help diffuse some of their anger.
There are many reasons why apologizing to an angry customer is helpful and effective. One way is because when you apologize to an angry customer, it can help to resolve the dispute. This can improve their view of both you and your business and lessen the likelihood of future conflicts with them.
An apology also helps because when a customer is angry, they tend to be very emotionally charged; this makes them less likely to think clearly about the situation at hand and more likely to act on impulse.
By apologizing, you’re showing them that you understand their anger and that you’re not completely ignoring or denying what they’re upset about; this can help them think more clearly and be more reasonable to hear you out when you provide a solution.
It’s a great conflict resolution technique.
3. Maintain a calm tone of voice.
It’s recommended that you take steps to de-escalate the situation by gaining an understanding of where the customer is coming from. It is important to use a calm tone of voice when responding to angry clients or customers, as this can help to reduce their anger level.
People are more likely to listen to you when you speak in a calm tone of voice. In many cases, it will help show empathy with the customer’s concern. If the customer is concerned about something that happened in your store or office, you can remedy the situation by remaining calm and making a sincere attempt to understand what made them angry in the first place.
4. Show empathy and sympathize with them.
In dealing with angry customers, remember the importance of empathy. Empathy is a powerful tool that goes beyond simply understanding another person’s point of view and shows that you have insight into the other person’s situation.
By practicing empathy, you can show the customer you’re on their side. You can do this by saying things like: “I understand why you are upset.”
Let’s say a customer calls in because they’ve noticed an issue with their order. They’re upset because they feel as if their time has been wasted by an error on your company’s part. In this situation, it would be appropriate to use an empathetic response such as “I completely see where you’re coming from. If I were in your shoes, I would feel the same way.”
It’s important to be patient, listen carefully, and not interrupt your customer. It’s also important not to get defensive, but instead, acknowledge their feelings and offer a solution. When someone feels like they’ve been heard and understood, they are much less likely to continue venting.
5. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns.
A key part of this process is acknowledging the customer’s problems and sharing their point of view. You want to hear what they have to say, because it helps to quickly create strategies for resolving their issues.
Ask simple questions like, “What happened?” or “How did that make you feel?” When you ask questions like these, it tells them you want to know more about their situation instead of just trying to get rid of them as fast as possible.
Here’s an example: A customer calls in and explains that their pizza delivery was two hours late, and it was cold when it arrived. They want a refund for their order.
You could respond with something like this: “I’m sorry about the delay in your pizza delivery.” Instead, try something like this: “I’m sorry that you had to wait so long for your pizza. Our deliveries shouldn’t take more than an hour, and I’ll look into what caused this delay.”
This shows the customer you understand the problem they’re facing and you’re going to do something about it.
6. Try your best to resolve the issue.
The first thing to remember is that an angry customer is never completely wrong. It could be your fault; it could be circumstances beyond your control; it could be something else entirely. But there is always a reason for their anger.
It’s important to show the customer you understand why they are angry. Say something like: “I can understand why you are upset about this,” and then go on to explain what the problem is and why it happened.
A great strategy to use here is “chunking”. Chunking involves breaking the issue down into smaller issues, so the customer feels better about the things you can resolve. Then when you tell them you won’t be able to help with the things you can’t resolve, they won’t feel as bad.
For example, let’s say you are explaining why you can’t give a customer a refund for their defective product. Instead of saying “I’m sorry, but under the warranty you should have returned this within 30 days,” say “We’re committed to providing high-quality products and services. However, if you believe that we’ve sold you something that is not up to our standards, you are welcome to return it for repair or replacement.”
7. Follow up.
If you are going to be part of the customer’s journey, it’s important they know you care. It is not enough to just have a great product, you have to have a great relationship with your customers as well. This means that you need to follow up with your customers when they are upset and let them know that you are there for them.
Treat each customer as if they were the one who gave you your first sale. Following up with an angry customer sends an important message: “We want to resolve this issue, and we want to do so quickly.”
When you respond quickly and professionally to their concerns, you can regain their trust and move forward with customer success.
Handle angry customers with ChatSupport’s personable features
Whether you have an in-house customer service team or you outsource your customer conflicts and problem solving to call centers, your team needs to know how to handle irate customers effectively.
In the world of online support, angry customers are a fact of life. As an online business, you’ll inevitably have to deal with angry or frustrated users.
ChatSupport’s features can help easily de-escalate an angry customer for you by prompting them with supportive and helpful chat replies. This can help with your retention in the long run.
Don’t wait any longer. Get started with ChatSupport today!
Like this article? Spread the word.