I got a Call on the phone from an Angry Customer 😡, She said I need either a refund or you deliver my House I purchased Last Year. She was so angry because she had been dissappointed and her delivery date has shifted several times and she just got a message on the new date would be in 2 years time.
How do you handle such especially when you were just the middle man( sales person) between the client and the actual developer? Oti Zeh oo, yes wahala e no dey finish but you must remain calm to be able to solve problems with the right solutions without raising your voice or getting too fearful to know what to do.
Nearly everyone who works in a service-based industry is likely to encounter an angry customer at some point in their career. Although dealing with an upset client might be challenging, these situations can be handled in a way that resolves complaints and retains the customer.
In this article, we explain the importance of calmly dealing with angry customers and we offer ways you can provide excellent customer service to dissatisfied customers.
The importance of helping upset customers
Regardless of whether you feel responsible for the problem, it is always wise to deal politely and promptly with angry or upset customers. Some reasons include:
By communicating politely and finding a resolution, you can retain this customer for future transactions.
A customer who was pleased with how you managed the problem might reverse their view and give positive feedback about your services or business or in an online review.
Solving the problem might show you how to fix an issue in the company to prevent this from happening again and thereby improve a part of the company’s process.
How to deal with angry customers
When you’re interacting with an angry customer, there are certain things you can do to help resolve the situation. Here are some effective ways to deal with angry customers:
1. Stay calm.
2. Shift your mindset.
3. Acknowledge their distress.
4. Introduce yourself.
5. Learn about the person you are talking to.
7. Repeat their concerns back to the customer.
8. Sympathize, empathize and apologize.
9. Offer a solution.
10. Thank the customer.
11. Calm yourself down.
12. Follow up.
1. Stay calm
In some cases, a customer may be visibly distressed or angry. Despite their demeanor, stay calm and try to smile and maintain eye contact to show you’re open to hearing their feedback and invested in solving their concerns.
Even while communicating with clients over the phone, smiling conveys warmth in your voice although they can’t see you. Using a low tone of voice might induce the speaker to also lower their pitch and volume.
2. Shift your mindset
It might be natural to think to yourself that the situation is not your fault. However, the success of this interaction hinges largely on you not taking the customer’s anger personally. This can be done by switching from a mindset of finding blame (what or who caused this problem to happen) to a mindset where the goal is to find a solution. Saying something like, “Let’s see how I can help,” is a good way to signal this mindset. It also helps you handle the situation with less stress.
3. Acknowledge their distress
The first thing the customer is looking for from you is a recognition that something has happened to upset them. You can acknowledge their feelings without accepting blame by saying something such as, “I can see you’re upset, and I’m so sorry.”
4. Introduce yourself
Telling the customer your name and learning theirs may naturally place the interaction on a more cordial footing. Ask the customer their name, and then use it throughout and often during your conversation. This makes the interaction more personal and lets the customer know you care specifically about them rather than if you use a formal title such as “sir” or “ma’am.” For example, “Mrs. Obi, I see here that you paid for the House in so so period in May ?” or “Let’s see how many units were in your Sales contract , Lester.”
5. Learn about the person you are talking to
Understanding details about your customer, such as the extent of their knowledge on the subject, their age or their background, can help you connect with them and ease the interaction onto a friendlier plane. You can also tailor your conversation to be more useful. Some of this information can be deduced from the information you may already have on file, but you can ask cordial questions to ascertain other details.
For example, if you are speaking to an elderly customer who displays nervousness about technology, you might need to be more reassuring and speak without using jargon: “Don’t worry, Mr. Styes; we’ll get this your request resolved and running in no time.”
However, if you are speaking to someone whose language shows that they understand about construction or its challenges or what could have caused the delays from the developer you can explain the situation at a higher technical level.
This might be the most important thing you do for the customer. By nodding and maybe even taking notes while they speak, you show the customer that you are actively listening to what they have to say. By not interrupting, you give them an opportunity to express their frustrations, after which they will most likely be more amenable to working on a solution with you.
7. Repeat their concerns back to the customer
Stating the problem shows that you are listening and paying attention. This also confirms for yourself exactly what the problem is so that there is no misunderstanding. For example, “Just to be sure that I understand, you are upset that the cake you ordered did not feed 24 people, and it was also missing the layer of strawberry jam at the center that you had requested.” Something that specific has more clarity than simply saying, “I understand you didn’t like the cake we baked for you.”
8. Sympathize, empathize and apologize
Show respectfully that you understand why they are upset, and try to put yourself in their position to see how you might feel in a similar situation. This might help place you in a more understanding frame of mind to craft a solution. Verbalize your sympathy and apologize clearly and unequivocally. For instance, “I am so sorry the developer of the house purchased in May 2 Years got got delayed I can understand how upset you must be. We will look into the options you gave either a refund or getting the house delivered at an earlier time than Expected will be looked.
9. Offer a solution
Some upset customers just want to express their frustration and feel like someone is listening to their concerns. Other customers may be looking for a refund. Offer a solution and be open to discussing the issue further. For example, “I understand that the steak was not cooked to your requirements, and again, we are so sorry your meal was unsatisfactory.
Could we offer you another steak on the house or any other entree on the menu?”
Could we offer you another House that is ready at XYZ time , you carry them along and explain about the inflation rates or what caused the problems for the late delivery and challenges faced.
10. Thank the customer
To close the interaction, thank the customer sincerely for bringing up their concerns. Your aim is to provide the best goods and services, and all feedback helps in this regard. You can also express the hope that you have retained that customer for the future, such as “I hope the water views from the balcony in the new room made up for not getting the suite on the floor you had requested. We hope to see you stay here with us again.”
11. Calm yourself down
Even if you are in customer relations and interact with irate customers on a regular basis, a state of mental equilibrium will help you refresh your mind and deal with your next customer just as effectively. Speak to a friend, take some calming deep breaths or if time and rules permit, go for a short walk to clear your mind before returning to your duties.
12. Follow up
To cement your relationship with the customer, follow up with them in a few days to ensure they are satisfied with the solution you provided. You can send them an email, a gift certificate in the mail or make a follow-up phone call.
It is also important to follow up within your organization to find out why the situation occurred. Make the necessary changes to avoid a reoccurrence of the problem. For example, a late order might show that employees were making it to the courier office too late in the afternoon, and a revised schedule may need to be implemented.
Always remember that if a customer is abusive to you or your employees, you should think of safety first and cut short the interaction. However, in all other cases, by remaining calm and sympathetic, and sincerely striving to find a solution to the customer’s complaint, an angry customer can leave the business a satisfied and committed long-term client.
Question of the day
Hope you found this useful and kindly share what you a few lessons learnt you can apply when facing angry customers ?
Thanks for your attention and please enjoy your day.
Dr Laide Okubena