4 Tips to Calm Irate Customers

All of us have experienced dissatisfaction in a particular product or certain service at some point in our lives. That unsettling feeling that we have been lied to and taken for a fool. Although some of us may be able to let these feelings pass very quickly, there are a number of people who find it very difficult to just let and insist on making those they feel responsible aware of how they feel. Of course, if a customer hasn’t received the standards which they were promised then they are entirely within their rights to raise this issue with a number of staff, however, handling irate customers is one of the greatest challenges for businesses to face.

How customer complaints are handled has hugely impacts the success of a business. It could be the difference between losing a valuable customer forever or gaining a new one. An excellent customer experience is a great retention tool and is vital in establishing a positive reputation for your business. Word of mouth is undoubtedly the cheapest and most effective marketing strategy, so if your clients feel like they are valued and treated with respect, they will help your business grow.

Therefore, whether you feel a complaint is justified or not, the manner in which you deal with it hugely impacts your business. Here are just a few tips on how to turn an individual’s negative experience with your company into a positive one:

1) Stay Calm

By remaining calm when confronted by an angry customer, your mind is clearer, therefore allowing you to think in a reasonable and logical manner. Although it may seem difficult, trying to maintain composure when a customer starts shouting or being rude will help to prevent the situation from escalating further. Natural human instinct may be to guard ourselves from such hostility and become defence, but it is important to remember that these confrontations should not be taken personally. Focus instead on empathising, and understanding the situation from the customer’s point of view.

2) Listen to them

When someone feels let down, they will feel overcome with the urge to vent their feelings to someone. Although it is difficult to be on the receiving end of such frustrated tirade, it is important for call agents to allow the customer to talk about their issues and offload how they are feeling. Staff should avoid interrupting as much as possible and instead permit the customer to air their problem for as long as they feel necessary. Staff should also remember that listening isn’t merely a case of staying entirely silent, and should instead use an ‘active listening’ approach. This means responding to what they are saying and asking questions in order to have a full understanding of the situation.

3) Empathise with the customer

When someone is going to the trouble of letting you know how they are feeling, it is important to make them aware that you understand their frustration. Aside from being listened to, most customers want sympathy for problems that they have experienced at the hands of your business. Empathising with a customer shows that you are capable of identifying how they are feeling and have put yourself in their shoes. This display of empathy reminds the customer that there is an actual person on the other end of the phone, someone who cares about what they are going through. A display of empathy allows you to seem both professional and caring simultaneously. This means that customers feel that not only do you understand their problems, but you can actually relate to them too, making you far more likely to come up with a suitable solution.

4) Offer a Solution

Once you have heard a detailed account of the customer’s concerns and have done all you can to pacify them, it is time to do something about the issue. Taking action is vital, as although what has happened cannot be undone, it is important to try and move forward from it. Let the customer know you are willing to help and will take charge in order to rectify the issue. It is however important to strike the right balance here, avoid promising unrealistic solutions or agreeing to a timeline which is unachievable. Staff should also solicit advice from the customer on how they would ideally wish for their issues to be resolved as it makes them feel important.