Dealing with angry customers is one of the trickiest aspects of running a business. Do it right, and you can enhance customer loyalty while protecting your reputation.
If you do it wrong and you open your business up to a whole host of problems.
It’s critical to remember that when a customer departs from an interaction angry, the problem will not likely remain contained to one person — it often grows exponentially.
Angry customers tell friends and family members about their dissatisfaction. Those friends and family members can tell dozens of other people. Before you know it, one single interaction can have profound consequences.
The rise of social media has made positive customer relations even more vital. A decade ago, bad word of mouth could only go so far. Yet today social media platforms can amplify a negative message to previously unimaginable levels. Even relatively minor good faith disagreements can spread across social media like wildfire.
That’s a scenario that is almost always avoidable — you merely need to follow some common sense tactics to help you turn a dissatisfied consumer back into a loyal one.
Let’s examine some of the best ways to deal with customer anger.
Never ignore the problem
One of the worst things you can do with almost any negative situation is to ignore it and let things fester. Yet too often that’s exactly what happens.
It’s human nature to hope a problem will resolve itself without active intervention. Unfortunately things rarely work out that way. In fact, an angry customer is likely to become even more agitated if given the impression nothing is being done. That tells the customer you don’t care enough to try and resolve the problem in a prompt fashion.
Always get in front of the situation. It’s not always easy to deal with angry or dissatisfied people — but your company’s reputation depends on successfully negotiating such interactions.
Stay relaxed and calm
Here’s something you never want to forget — anger is contagious. If you become too emotionally engaged in a conversation with a client, odds are good the situation will become more inflamed. What began as a business discussion could quickly turn personal — and spiral out of control.
Luckily, anger isn’t the only thing that’s contagious — a calm, relaxed demeanor can spread just as easily. Speak to the customer in a steady, reassuring, even-keeled voice. Resist any attempts to escalate the situation. If you stay calm and composed, there’s an excellent chance the customer will begin to relax as well.
Be a Great Listener
Above all, an angry customer wants an audience. Something has occurred which has caused significant distress, so it’s important to listen to these concerns patiently and empathetically. The worst thing you can do is to appear disconnected or dismissive. Allowing a customer to air grievances to a concerned and friendly listener is often the first step toward eventual resolution of the problem.
Always Look for a Solution
It’s critical to be as responsive as possible during interactions with dissatisfied customers. Don’t be afraid to get creative when offering solutions to the problem. Even the angriest customer is usually appreciative of an open and honest attempt at solving the problem — even if the solution isn’t perfect.
Handling angry customers is one of the trickiest relationships a business must negotiate. A poor interaction can result in lost business and reputational harm. Yet if you resolve these conversations successfully, today’s angry customer may be more loyal than ever tomorrow.
Contact us today to learn how we’ve developed a team of professional virtual receptionists that have the talent and experience to any customer call into a positive one for your business.
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