How to Deal With Angry Customers

Written by cherie vallelunga
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How to Deal With Angry Customers
Dealing with an angry customer is never easy. (angry image by Mitarart from Fotolia.com)

If your job entails dealing directly with customers, at some point you will deal with an angry customer. While dealing with upset customers is never a pleasant task, if the customer is satisfied and happy after you have assisted him, you will almost certainly feel good about having helped him. Dealing with an angry customer is an art, not a science--follow basic steps, but allow your personality to show through.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Resist taking the customer's anger personally. Remember that the customer is generally not angry with you, but is angry with the situation.

  2. 2

    Listen to what the customer is saying to you. Resist interrupting the customer. Allow the customer to vent and to tell the whole story without interrupting him. Make notes to reflect that you are listening and to help you focus on what is bothering him, keeping in mind that the same experience may not result in the same complaint from every customer.

  3. 3

    Ask questions if there is something you do not understand. Find out what she is upset about and, if possible, what she wants done before you begin to "resolve" the problem.

  4. 4

    Empathise with the customer. Tell the customer you are sorry and accept blame if it is your fault. Repeat back, in shortened version, what you heard the customer say. Verify to the customer that he has a right to be upset and that you would expect anyone who had gone through his experience to be upset.

  5. 5

    Try to "make it right" by offering something to the customer to make up for the "loss" she suffered, if possible. Ask her what she thinks would make it right if you are unable to make her happy. Explain to her why you cannot offer that particular resolution if what she wants is impossible or unreasonable,

  6. 6

    Ask the customer if you have addressed all of his concerns before you say goodbye. Follow up on everything you said you would follow up on and document that you did so.

Tips and warnings

  • Reassure the customer throughout the conversation, always letting him know you intend to do your best to resolve the situation and that you are listening to him. If he says, "I know it is probably not important," try saying something like, "I understand that it is important to you and I am going to do my very best to help you resolve this problem."
  • Do not make any promises you cannot keep. This will simply make the customer angrier.
  • If you are in a position to make changes in your business, use the customer's complaint to motivate you to make necessary changes so the situation does not happen over and over again. If you are not in a position to make changes, but you get the same complaints over and over, approach your supervisor or manager and let her know that you have had the same complaint several times.
  • If a customer is threatening you, let him know that is not appropriate. If he refuses to stop, ask for help--from security or law enforcement, if necessary.

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