The Angry Customer – Learning How To Deal Effectively

You’re at work, you’re having your coffee, some casual conversation with co-workers – it’s a good day.  Then suddenly, there he is – THE ANGRY CUSTOMER.  How you decide to handle this situation can truly be a career-altering decision.  Is this customer going to leave angrier, hell bent on telling every person that he knows how incompetent your company is? or is he leaving feeling appreciated and willing to not just return to your company, but to spread good will about your customer service?   

The common theme running through every angry customer that you have to deal with will be the questions that angry customers ask: 

“How could this have possibly happened?” 

“What is going on here?” 

“Do you know what I’ve been through?!” 

“What am I supposed to do?! “

 “What are you going to do about it?!” 

Most will be shouting; some will be using offensive language; all will be incredibly frustrated.  The most important point that you must remember at this moment is that they’re not angry with you personally.  They’re angry with the situation; they may even be angry with their spouse, employer, mother, whoever, and what happened with your organization was the straw the broke the camel’s back.  

When you’re dealing with angry customers remember is to stay calm (deep breaths, good air in, bad air out ).  If you become argumentative it will only enflame the customer and the entire situation can quickly spiral out of control. This is where you have to utilize all of your listening skills and pay close attention to what your customer is saying.  Being listened to is sometimes all that they really want. and all that is really needed, to make the customer feel whole again.   

Find out exactly what went wrong, and exactly what the customer wants you to do about it.  You need to know what they feel needs to happen to resolve the situation.  If it’s impossible to correct at that moment then you have to be the one to take ownership of the problem.  Ensure the customer that you will have an answer in a short time frame and you will contact them.  Give the customer your direct line and make sure that you answer their call.   

Dealing with the angry customer will always be the most difficult aspect of your day.  Take care of it and you will be the hero.  Don’t take care of it and you can be positive that everyone your customer comes into contact that day and most likely the next, will hear about it.

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