How to handle irate customers?

How to handle irate customers?

We always write about positive reviews, great customer service, and advice on what you can do to provide it in your company. Yet we don’t keep ourselves from posting about angry and irate customers. And we cannot deny the fact that it is sometimes hard to deal with them.

If you work in customer service or own a business, you will occasionally need to take calls from irate customers. The way you handle these calls can determine the quality of reviews you receive and the success of your business.

So, take a look at this article and see the things you can do when handling irate customers.

A. Addressing the Customer’s Problem
  • Listen to the customer so you can understand their needs. Sometimes, a client might call just to vent about their frustrations, while others might need you to take action now. Whatever the case is, make sure you are actively listening to what they are telling you and take notes on it so you have an idea of what needs to happen.
  • Repeat what the customer is saying so they know you understand. Once the client has told you what the problem is, try to repeat back to them the main points of what they have just told you. The purpose of this is to double-check that you are correct and let them make any additional comments before you try to help them with the issue.
  • Apologize to the customer so they know you’re sorry. Even though it is not your fault, it is important to apologize on behalf of the company you work for. Be sure that the customer hears that you’re sorry for the problem they’re having and that you’re going to do your very best to fix it.
  • Offer solutions for how you can help the customer. Once you know what the real problem is, tell the customer how you are going to make it right and give them any information that they need. But if you’re not sure how to solve the issue yourself, let the customer know that you’re going to connect them with someone who can.
  • Take note of the client’s suggestions so you can pass them along. If a customer brings something up that you think management or your boss would like to know, write it down so you can either tell them in person, give them a call, or send them the information in an email. Suggestions or major complaints from clients can be super useful for making the business even better. 
B. Making the Customer Happy
  • Avoid putting angry customers on hold. Even if you put the customer on hold so you can plug in information or navigate the computer to help them and entertain their issues, it will likely make them angrier that they are having to wait. If you can keep the customer on hold while you type in information or find the right person to connect them with, do it. Try to explain what you are doing to them, so they feel as involved as possible.
  • Show empathy so they know that you truly care. When the customer feels like you can relate to them and are acknowledging that they are upset, they will be more likely to cooperate and calm down. If they feel that you’re showing empathy toward them, they’ll try to tone down their voice and talk to you in a proper way. Think from the customer’s point of view and tell them that you understand why they might be frustrated. You might say something like, “I would be upset in your situation too; let’s try to fix this.” to show them you’re on their side.
  • Try not to say the word “no” as you talk with the customer. It is best to avoid using this word as much as you can because “no” can make the client think that you’re being negative or that you don’t want to help them, even if this is not true. Try to think about which words you’re using when you talk to them, keeping your language as positive as possible.
  • End the call on a happy and polite note. You might ask the client if there is anything else you can do to help them after you resolve the problem, or simply compliment them on how patient they were throughout the call. Be sure you end the call on a positive note; it’ll leave the customer feeling satisfied once they’ve hung up.
C. Keeping Your Cool
  • Stay calm, even if the customer is yelling at you. It can be easy to get frustrated when someone is angry at you on the phone, especially if it’s not your fault. Try to focus on staying calm and not letting your irritation or anger get the best of you, so you don’t make the customer even more angry.
  • Avoid arguing with the customer. Arguing back or raising your voice to their level will only make the situation worse. No matter what they say to you, don’t ever argue back with them or say anything rude. Let the customer know that you’d like to help them.
  • Keep a positive attitude and a helpful tone. Always pay attention to the tone of your voice as you are talking to make sure it’s positive and not too irritated.
  • Realize the customer isn’t angry at you specifically. Most of the time, when people call an agent, they are angry about the experience they are having or the situation they are in. Always remind yourself that even if the customer is yelling or very angry, they do not mean to direct this anger at you specifically.