How do you deal with angry customers? It's easy for upset customers to get even more upset on the phone. In this video you'll learn techniques to ensure problems don't slip through the cracks and your customer is pleased with the solution to a problem. Techniques include listening carefully, apologize sincerely, and making your customer feel like you're on their side.
- Angry customs are incredibly difficult to serve. I've created an entire course dedicated to this called working with upset customers. But, I'd like to give you a few phone specific tips in this video. Let's start by trying to better understand the angry caller. First, calling probably isn't your customer's first choice for solving their problem. Studies show that a majority of customers start online. They might also try emailing, social media or reading an instruction manual. That means customers can have two problems by the time they call, there's their original issue plus they're frustrated because they couldn't easily fix it.
The experience of calling can also be frustrating to your customer. They often have to navigate through a phone menu, then wait on hold. This can make a frustrated person even more frustrated. But wait, there's more. A few studies have discovered that angry customers can be more judgmental and less open to ideas. This means it's easy for an angry customer to get even angrier and resist any solutions you suggest, if it's not exactly what they wanted.
The key to helping these customers is to de-escalate their anger so it's easier to help them solve their problem. Let's look at a few techniques you can use. Make sure you take some extra time to listen to an upset customer. We instinctively want to listen less to someone who is angry, but if you don't spend enought time listening your customer can feel like you are working against them. Or, you don't care about their problem. They might even get angrier. By spending extra time listening, an angry customer can often de-escalate themselves.
It takes a lot of energy to get angry and stay that way, especially if the other person is keeping their cool. Another technique is to apologize sincerely. This means going beyond a casual apology and really putting some feeling into it. Imagine you are an angry customer. Let's hear what a typical apology sounds like. - Oh, I'm sorry to hear about that. - That apology almost sounded like no apology at all.
Now, let's hear what a sincere apology sounds like. - I'm so sorry that happened. That's not the type of service we normally provide. So, I'm a little embarrassed we let you down. I really apologize. - This one was much different. A heart-felt apology can naturally de-escalate an angry customer. When I've used this technique, I've often had customers quickly cool down and sometimes even start trying to cheer me up. Okay, here's one more de-escalation technique.
Put yourself on your customer's side. What I mean by this is you should make your customer feel like you truly want to help them. In a previous video, we covered techniques for empathizing with customers. Empathy is a great place to start so you customer feels like you're on their side. You can do other things to put yourself on their side, like saying, I'd really like to help you. Or, let's find a solution. Try to avoid seeming like an obstacle that's preventing the customer from getting what they want since this will just make them angrier.
Now, I do want to talk briefly about customers who cross the line. Sometimes an angry customer will resort to using inappropriate or threatening language. When that happens, politely but firmly tell the customer that you won't serve them if they're going to use that sort of language. Now these situations can be tricky. So, I suggest you check your company policies for specifics on how to handle that type of situation. Okay, we've covered a lot in this video. I encourage you to try out these techniques to de-escalate the situation the next time you have an angry caller on the phone.
Just keep one thing in mind, we might not be able to make every customer happy but we can try to leave them feeling better at the end of the call than they did at the beginning.
- Developing the perfect phone greeting
- Filling dead air
- Managing holds and transfers
- Expressing empathy
- De-escalating angry callers