What to Do When A Customer Yells at You
Customers are going to get angry. And then some customers are going to get heated. Whether you work as a customer service rep for a larger company or if you just opened your doors for business, an elevated situation with a customer is never ideal.
If you look at the flip side, an angry customer is a learning opportunity: though they may not be saying it in the best possible way, this angry customer is giving you advice on something you can change for the better. What happens if you choose to take the complaint without any resolution? Bad things, my friend.
Just as your happy customers drive business to your doorstep with that beautiful word-of-mouth marketing, unhappy customers can steer people away from your business by posting a scathing online review, saying nasty things about your business on social media, and by generally making it their personal mission to prevent you from getting new customers.
When you think about it like that, wouldn’t you say it’s important to learn how to handle an angry customer? Here are some tips for keeping your cool when handling even the most angry of customers.
You’re going to have to be a jedi, a zen master, a monk: Let the screaming bounce off of you as if you’re covered in Rain-X. Speak deliberately and calmly. Our Training Specialist, Robert Eagles, agrees.“The first thing I preach is maintaining a cool head yourself. Irate callers can really get you fired up as well, so making sure that you keep a cool head is key,” Eagles said.Help to bring your customer back down to earth by remaining calm yourself.
This sounds simple enough, but you’ll have to harness all of your zen powers to make it happen; it’s completely natural to feel that tug to defend yourself. Don’t! While maintaining your cool, wade through the screaming and the rapid fire cuss words to actually hear what the customer is trying to tell you. Why are they actually upset? Start repeating back what they are saying.
We are asking a lot of you – we know. However, taking accountability for issues involved with your company is ultimately a lesson in what to do better next time. Take action on this customer’s complaint. It will help you to avoid situations like this with other customers in the future and could possibly turn the angry customer’s frown upside down.
In addition, Eagles said it’s key to be empathetic to your customer’s situation.“Apologizing is one thing, but to really put yourself in the caller’s shoes and show that you care about the situation,” Eagles said. “This can go a long way in making a caller feel better.”
Provide a Solution
Now that you’ve heard the problem and have taken accountability for your customer’s issue, it’s time to put the service in customer service: you need to provide a solution to the problem. Ask the customer what resolution they would like to see and come to agreeable terms – a solution that makes everyone happy.
Eagles said a little redirection to a solution is helpful in getting an angry customer to calm down.“Let the caller talk to vent their frustrations, but then you need to help the caller move on by offering solutions to their issues. Rather than letting the caller focus on their problem, redirect the caller to the solutions you can provide.”
Customers will get mad. Some customers will be very noisy about why they are mad and this is a good thing. It is much better to be yelled at about an issue they are having with your business than for them to spread the bad word all over town, stay silent, or worse, just stop using your business without you ever knowing why.
By actually hearing what the customer has to say and taking action on that complaint, you give yourself the opportunity to learn and for your customer to become happy once again.