Once a while in business, you may find yourself dealing face to face with an angry customer.
Dealing with an angry customer can be over telephone conversation or face to face.
Either way, it is your responsibility to ensure that you make an angry customer happy and satisfied.
Furthermore, you need to do this because, after all, you need the customer more than he needs you.
This article is, therefore, looking at some valuable and effective steps you can take if you find yourself dealing with an angry customer.
You should be calm when an angry customer begins to show extreme annoyance or rudeness.
There is no need for you to respond in the same manner.
Beyond that, doing so might worsen an already bad situation.
After all, it is said that two wrongs cannot make a right.
Therefore, when you are dealing with an angry customer, your aim should be to control your emotions so that you can get what you want.
Angry Customer: Use your best listening skills
You need to use your best listening skills when dealing with angry customer.
Usually, an angry customer wants to express his anger. He wants to be heard.
To do so, he needs someone to listen to him. And you are that person.
Listening patiently to an angry can significantly reduce his anger.
All the customer wants is that his complaint is being listened to.
Listen attentively to the customer until he is done with talking.
Do not talk while he is venting his anger.
Then you should summarize what you have heard.
Then ask him questions (if any) to confirm that you truly understood what he has said.
Furthermore, you should try to understand the body language of the customer.
Then take the following steps:
- Keep eye contact.
- Stand or sit up straight
- Keep your arms uncrossed
- Show how closely you are paying attention to his problems
If the customer observes that you are not paying attention to his complaint he will be more angry.
Therefore, getting customer angrier is something you should never allow to happen.
Do not take the problem as personal
When dealing with angry customer, you should not take it as a quarrel between both of you.
He can be angry for a number of reasons, including:
- Poor performance of your product
- Bad customer service
- Failure to meet specifications
- inability to meet agreed deadlines
- Your personal feelings are beside the point
Furthermore, it is possible that the source of his anger might came from you end.
This explains why you should not personalize the situation. If you do, you stand to loose.
Most importantly, the angry customer can simply take his business to any other vendor where he will receive better attention.
Suppose you are the angry customer
When dealing with angry customer, you need to treat him customer as you yourself would want to be treated if you were to buy your needs from another shop.
After the customer has finish talking, all he wants to know is that you:
- understood the source of his anger
- know how he feels
- respects and value his business
Moreover, you should aim at calming down the customer.
Furthermore, you should aim at ensuring that you give him a reason to continue to buy from you.
Most importantly, it is your duty to make sure that the customer is happy enough to be able to give you referrals or recommendations.
When you find yourself facing an angry customer, you should find out the source of his anger.
If you discover that something went wrong at your end, you should apologize to the customer.
It is does not matter whether the customer is right or wrong. It does not also matter whether the angry customer is a big or small buyer.
A simple statement is often all that an angry customer needs.
For example you can say “I am sorry you are not happy with our product. I will see what I can do to make things right”.
Angry customer: Find a solution
Once you understand why the angry customer is unhappy, it is time to offer a solution.
Ask him what he feels should be done. Alternatively, you can ask him to put forward his own fair solution to the problem.
Beyond that, you can offer multiple solutions and ask him to pick the that meets his needs.
Most importantly, often times, apology is all that the angry customer is looking for.
Apologies to the customer. Customers like apologies. It makes them feel recognized and appreciated.
Take out time to review the situation
After fixing the problem of the angry customer, you should take out time to:
- Review the problem
- Analyze the problem
- Find out the effects of the problem on the customer
- And the likely effects on your business
Thereafter, you can put in place measures to ensure that or similar problems do not occur again in the future.
Furthermore, even if you have handled the situation in the most professional manner, the experience must have been stressful.
However, you should not allow the experience to weigh you down.
Instead, you can simply take a walk, take a snack or look for something that would make you laugh.
This should make you ready to engage with your other customers.
In conclusion, you should remember that customers buy for the reasons:
- To fulfill a need
- To solve their problems
- And to be happy
If you want the customer to still continue to do business with you, you just have to meet the above expectations.
Furthermore, you should realize that, customer do not only buy what you sell, they also buy recognition, happiness, satisfaction and appreciation.
Most importantly, you should bear in mind that one recommendation from an unhappy customer can take 10 customers away from you.
Therefore, you need to make every customer happy because you need referrals and recommendations from them. The customer has the cash. And cash is king.
By Samuel Ijenhi
B. Sc. Accounting [University of Benin]
Benin City, Nigeria.