2. October 2018 Blog

8 principles of dealing with angry customers

8 principles of dealing with angry customers

Dealing with angry customers is frequently part of everyday routine of customer support agents. Most of us would probably react offensively if we talked to an upset or insolent clients. However, for customer support professionals, it is important to keep it cool and follow several principles which can lead to positive outcome and retain the customer. What are the principles?

Customers might be angry for various reasons, some justified, some not. Unfortunately, you are likely to encounter frustrated, aggressive and impatient reactions. It is important to always remember the following:

  • if the customer calls, it is because they need you
  • they are the angry person, not you
  • it is very probable that by helping them, you make their day better
  • if you help them and make their day better, they will appreciate it and stay loyal to the brand.

You should never ignore an angry customer. Why? Because unhappy and angry customers tend to share their negative experience on social media, write negative reviews or talk badly about the company among their friends. Negative comments can really hurt your brand’s reputation and lead to the loss of customers and revenue.

Remember that to even out a single negative experience, you need twelve positive ones. 

Here are a few principles to follow when talking to angry and rude clients. Dealing with angry customers will never be a problem for you ever again. 

1) Remain calm 

Talking to an angry customer is always an unpleasant experience that is very hard to avoid. The first step how to calm the customer down is to stay calm, polite and professional no matter what. Never fight back, quite the opposite, try to take the customer’s side.

2) Listen carefully

You’ve probably heard this complaint many times before. But remember that it is a new problem for the particular caller and he needs to solve it as soon as possible (otherwise he wouldn’t call). Listen carefully to what he has to say and don’t interrupt him. You’ll handle not just the customer’s concern, but also his temper.

3) Repeat the customer’s concerns

You’ve been listening carefully – great! But how does the customer know that? Assure him that you understand by repeating the problem back to him. And the result? He will probably stop yelling and start listening to you.

4) Put your emotions aside

It’s very easy to take everything an angry customer says personally. Remember that he is frustrated with the company, not you. Attempt to remove your feelings from the situation and put your emotions aside. You will be less frustrated and more capable of handling the client’s temper in a more objective way.

5) Sympathize

People want sympathy. Especially if they have a problem. Be the one who shows sympathy, respect and understanding. Assure the customer that you understand how he feels and that you are trying to help him as much as you can. Don’t just read call scripts and make the solution truly yours :-)

6) Apologize

To say I’m sorry is often the hardest step, especially if you feel that you’ve done nothing wrong. But in the eyes of customers, a little humility goes a long way and it can make them change their approach in a second. Remember that you are apologizing for the company, not for yourself.

7) Be a real person

Clients are upset and yell at you because you are the anonymous representative of a broken product or service. Always remind them that you are actually trying to help them and not to mislead them.

8) Call the customer back

You may never want to speak to the angry customer who yelled at you ever again. But try to be better than that and call them the next day to follow up. Ask them whether everything is alright and whether they need helping with anything else. This will make a good impression and make the next conversation the client has with you or your colleague more pleasant. 

I hope our tips will help you better handle angry and impolite customers. These tips are general, so they can be applied to any industry and they are easy to follow for anybody who works in the customer support sector. You can even use them in other types of communication, such as live chat or face-to-face interaction.