If you asked 100 Customer Service Representatives to identify their least favorite aspect of their job, 98 would probably say it is dealing with angry customers.
Once a customer has reached the boiling point of frustration and annoyance, it can be very difficult – and trying – to bring your company back into that customer’s favor once again. However, the task is not impossible, and with these 10 tips, you can successfully transform an angry customer into a loyal client once again.
1. Switch your thinking from dealing with a complaint to handling a concern. Behind your customer’s anger is likely a legitimate concern that you can help her with. Focus on the concern and a solution will come more easily.
2. Thank her for her concern. It may seem strange to thank someone who is ranting at you, but she is giving you the chance to make things right, rather than moving her business down the street. And that definitely deserves a thanks!
3. Listen to your customer. Pay attention to body language, tone and (of course) what she tells you. Reiterate her concern to be sure you have the gist of the problem down and to prove you were listening to her.
4. Empathize with her frustration. We’ve all been in situations where we have been angry with a company. Let your customer know that you have been in her shoes and you understand her feelings.
5. Apologize when appropriate. Sometimes, mistakes happen. If this was a legitimate mistake by your company, apologize to your customer for the error and subsequent inconvenience and frustration.
6. Stay calm and courteous throughout. It is easy to get defensive when you feel like you are being attacked, but raising your voice or changing your tone will only serve to enrage your customer further.
7. Reassure your customer that you will find a solution to the problem. Let her know that you will be her point of contact until that resolution is complete.
8. Find that solution. Do not play the blame game or pass the buck. Just fix it for your customer.
9. Follow up. Want to make an angry customer even angrier? Drop the ball before you get a resolution to her concern. If you are serious about transforming this customer, you will need to see the problem through to its final outcome. If you need to involve others in the issue, follow up with those people to ensure the job gets done in a timely fashion.
10. Go the extra mile. Here is where the real transformation begins. Once you solve the problem, your customer is satisfied. By adding something extra, a discount on a next visit, a follow-up card in the mail or another token of appreciation, you get a customer who is truly delighted.
Angry customers are a challenge for any company, but the good news is there are effective strategies for dealing with these difficult situations. With these 10 steps, most of your angry customers will transform into delighted, loyal customers who will return to your business and even tell others about your winning service attitude.