How to Deal with Angry Customers

from Elaine Gordon Evans 

Following my last post we all agreed how important it was to have happy customers in order to receive referrals and grow our business. So what do you do when you have an angry customer on the phone screaming at you and demanding a refund?

The first thing you need to understand is that the customer wants to feel that they gotten good service and secondly, they don’t want to feel that they aren’t getting their money’s worth. So when they start to complain, be a good listener and let them get it all out. Don’t take what they say personally and really listen to what they have to say.

In answering them, be soft, a soft answer calms their anger. That does’t mean that you still can’t keep your boundaries up while still being soft. If someone is irate and starts to use profanity, you can still say, “Excuse me, please don’t talk to me that way. I’m listening to what you have to say but you have no right to speak to me like that.” If you’ve done all you can to give them the best service you can and they hang up on you, call them back and see if you are able to talk to them. If you can’t get a hold of them be sure to leave a very polite voice message still offering to work with them to fix their problem. Remember, hold your ground but be nice and don’t ever retaliate in any way.

Often times when I’ve had a customer surprisingly angry over something minor, I stayed on the phone with them and continued to talk to them in a soft way. In many cases, it’s not just the small things that they were dissatisfied with, but there were usually other things going on in their life they were upset about and that exacerbates the situation. Nine out of ten times they, the client (without realizing it) will have the tendency to take out their frustrations on the service industry. That is why listening, really listening and understanding your clients is so critical. Once you’ve let them vent, you need to figure out a solution to their dissatisfaction. Offer to fix whatever they are unhappy with for free. It’s their choice whether they let you come back or not. You don’t necessarily have to give a refund.

In our next blog we will discuss how contrary to popular opinion, the customer is not always right. Dealing with unhappy customers is one of the most difficult aspects of running a service industry business. If you have any questions or experiences you would like to talk about don’t hesitate to email me.

That’s all for now, be sure to go and do something good for yourself!

Elaine

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