Every business strives to provide the best customer service they possibly can. Resolving every complaint, critical reviews and customer frustration is part and parcel of every business looking at creating an exceptional customer experience for their clients.
However, implementing a customer-first approach in your business is not always enough and your clients may still get rude and angry towards you and your business for a variety of reasons, some justified, some not. How you respond to these clients is what is important.
It is true that dealing with an upset customer is challenging for any workforce, whether they are in hospitality, retail, health care, corporate sales, or any other industry. Encountering an irate customer is almost a guarantee for every business at some point in their operations. Regardless of whether you feel responsible for your client’s predicament or not, it is always wise to deal with the situation politely and promptly to resolve the issues your clients may be having.
Here are our eight tips on how you can handle your clients that are angry and upset about your business, products, or services you are offering.
Listen actively to your clients
Listening actively is perhaps the most most important step of handling an angry and irate client. You need to understand that your clients want to be heard and part of the reason they are angry and irate is because their grievances are not being addressed.
Listening actively involves paying attention to everything your clients are saying so you can have a clear understanding of why they are angry with your business. Unlike passive listening that involves only absorbing a small portion of what your clients are saying before responding, active listening gives your clients ample time to express themselves and highlight every complaint and frustration they are having with your products and services.
It also gives you ample time to understand where your clients are coming from and how you can help to solve the problem.
One golden rule you should always keep in mind while dealing with a frustrated customer is that you should never, under any circumstance, promise you will fix the situation. The truth is, you may not be able to fix the situation, therefore, entangling yourself with the premise of making everything alright with the customer may escalate the situation with the client.
Apologize for putting your clients in the situation
Acknowledging your mistake, especially in cases where your business is at the fault can go a long way in diffusing a tense situation with your clients. An apology is not an admission of guilt should never be construed as such by all parties involved.
Do not drag your apology so much. It should be concise and straight to the point, offering solutions on what as a business you can do to make the situation better. Keep the explanation as concise as possible and move forward with the conversation.
Don’t take it personally
Do not take your clients’ anger personally, as this can result in the argument devolving into something else. Always remember that your clients are not angry with you as a person but your business, your products, or your services. Learn to detach yourself on a personal level from your business.
Getting angry, frustrated and irate with your customers is only going to make the situation worse than it already is. In case you find yourself getting emotional with the customer, call another person to solve the problem or help you solve the problem that is making the clients frustrated.
Keep calm and maintain a professional tone of voice
Remaining calm in a difficult situation is not always a simple ask for anybody. However, when dealing with your clients, it important to always remain calm and be the level-headed one in the situation.
Mirroring your clients’ angry emotions may also escalate the situation and make your business look unprofessional. You will also have a more productive conversation if you are able to remain calm and be able to solve whatever problem your clients may be having.
Empathize with your clients
Putting yourself in your frustrated clients’ shoes is a great way to understand why your clients may be angry with you.
It also helps you get to know the situation your clients may be in. This will in turn help you make informed decisions that are not based on the predetermined outcome of the situation, that many people make even before a client is able to fully express themselves and their frustrations with a business.
Present a solution
After listening, understanding the client’s problem and agreeing that there was a problem on your part. The next step should be to present a solution to the client that will help solve his/her problem.
If you don’t know what your clients want from you or they resist any help or offer you make, ask them how they want the situation resolved, and work from that point. This will further help diffuse the situation and solve the problem as quickly as possible.
Take action and solve the problem
Be proactive in solving your client’s problem once a solution has been agreed upon. You can also reach out to your clients to ensure that their complaints are fully resolved.
Good customer service goes above and beyond to ensure that client’s problems are fully resolved including asking for feedback and if they are satisfied with the services rendered.
The interaction with an angry client can offer insight into what your business is doing wrong. The feedback from these clients can also be used to improve the customer service of your business, avoiding such situations in the future.