What To Do When a Customer is Angry

Most of us in business have encountered the occasional angry customer. No matter what we say, this person remains angry.

Angry Man

If we each step back, I’m certain most of us will admit to being that angry customer at least once in our lifetime.

I know I’ve spoken a bit sharper than I should have a few times. I also know that I tend to lose my patience when I feel that I’m not being heard.

So, what can we do when a customer is angry? We can immediately recognize that it is not about us. We are total strangers. While we know there is anger residing in the other person, we really do not know where it is coming from.

We can also set our goal at seeking resolution versus arguing or trying to defend ourselves. When the customer sees us not getting defensive and truly trying to help, sometimes they will calm down enough to find out what the problem really is and then we can find the resolution.

Offering an apology can also help towards resolution. I know when I’ve been the angry customer, I’d much rather hear an apology versus hearing excuses about why I was not provided the service I had expected.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a sales person try to explain why the service was lousy. Usually they tell me they are understaffed, but I’ve also heard other excuses. If you are a business owner, offer an apology, not an excuse.

Show the customer you are listening. Respond to the words they are speaking to you. Remember this person is angry; our goal is to reach a resolution that will make them happy.

Once resolution is reached, offer to follow up and then make sure you do. It’s very possible that the person has a bad day, and took it out on you. It’s also possible that by offering the best possible customer service you could, you’ve now gained a lifetime customer.

Remembering the goal is resolution can often help you in finding the answer to the customer’s anger.

About the Author

Audrey Okaneko has been working at home since 1983 and writes about various topics.

CSS NYC 2019



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