Dos and Don’ts When Dealing with Angry Customers
Dealing with angry customers is one of the hardest things to do, and sometimes, the right tactics are counterintuitive to how many people feel compelled to act. Angry customers make doing business difficult, but they’re always going to be there.
These people aren’t necessarily a reflection of you – sometimes you’ll get angry customers because they’re justifiably disappointed, and other times you’ll get angry customers who seem to be angry for no reason. No matter what kind of angry customer you’re dealing with, there are a few dos and don’ts that will help you find the best possible solution.
Do Provide Relevant Information on Your Website
If all of your policies and frequently asked questions are clearly displayed on your website, angry customers can access the information they need without having to wait. They may be angry because they believe they received a defective product when in reality, they just aren’t using it right. Guides, tutorials, and self-service help centers can help thin out the number of angry customers that will wind up taking up time with your support staff.
Don’t Expect your FAQ to Fix Everything
Redirecting angry customers to your self-help resources after they’ve gotten into contact with you will only make them angrier. They’ll feel brushed off. They’ll wonder what the point of contacting you was if you were going to turn them away. Include links to these resources in automated responses that acknowledge the receipt of a support request, but do it to give angry customers something to review while they’re waiting for a response.
Do Accept Responsibility
If any wrongdoing has transpired on the side of the business, it needs to be acknowledged. Admitting that a mistake was made will help repair the relationship with the angry customer, especially if a viable solution is promptly presented with the admission.
Don’t Deflect or Blame the Customer
Even if the customer was wrong, don’t deflect or blame them. Angry people become defensive very quickly, and presenting your customer with a scenario in which they’re at fault will trigger those defensive instincts.
Do Have an Easy Access to Support System
Utilize tools like live chat to provide an instant support system for angry customers. Most disgruntled customers have a tendency to become even angrier when they feel as though their support requests aren’t responded to in a timely manner. Cutting out the wait altogether helps you get to the customer before their problem becomes worse, giving you the opportunity to provide an excellent support experience. You should also create a customer satisfaction survey that will help you determine what you can change.
Don’t Send Your Customers on a Phone Chain
Customers hate being left on hold for too long. They often hate being passed from person to person even more. Make sure the person receiving the support request is actually qualified to handle it. Since there are only so many managers, it might help to empower certain other employees to make decisions that are typically made by managers. This helps problems to be solved sooner and keeps the support experience simple.
Do Treat the Customer with Empathy
Angry customers respond best to empathy. They want the person they’re speaking with to understand what their frustrations are. Even if the frustrations are the fault of the customer, support staff should spend as much time listening as they need to. When angry people feel heard, they have a tendency to calm down. When they’re calm, they’re much easier to deal with.
Don’t Let Angry Customers Abuse Your Staff
If a customer goes too far overboard, that customer doesn’t deserve help. Customers that outright berate or abuse your staff should be dropped. Don’t do business with those people anymore. Your support staff work hard, and they shouldn’t be expected to tolerate rough language or slurs. Those customers are never right.
There’s not much you can do to prevent angry customers, but there’s plenty you can do to help extinguish a fiery situation. Even tempers will prevail if you lead by example.
Amelie Mahone is a loving wife and a mother of 3. She loves to read about history and write articles on various topics, such as: business, education, history, teaching. As a young mum, Amelie also likes to read about motivation and parenting.