If you’re reading this, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of disgruntled customers. From the “You better give me what I want or else…” to the “I’m leaving a bad review because you are (insert insult here)” and the “I’m never shopping with you again!”, you as a customer service professional have heard it all. We know what you are dealing with because we’ve been there too.
Consider this our virtual life preserver to you in a turbulent sea of grumpy customers. Here are our top ways to deal with angry customers and win them back:
How to Deal With Angry Customers: Over the Phone
We have one word for this: tone. When you are on the phone with anyone, not just an angry customer, tone is everything. Whether you realize it or not, the way you say something has far more impact than the actual words coming out of your mouth. If you are annoyed, angry, frustrated, that’s going to come across unless you take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are here to help resolve the issue at hand.
One great exercise if you’re on the phone with a customer that’s driving you up the wall is to try and empathize with them. Sometimes an angry customer is dealing with things that you don’t know about, things that go beyond your product or service and they’re taking their problems out on you. Catch them off guard by not saying the typical customer service things like “Sir, I understand but…”
Instead, try humanizing yourself by ditching the script.
The reason why this method works is quite simple: when you bin the scripted responses, you become human to your customers. Scripted responses make customers feel like they aren’t being heard, and that in turn makes them angrier. In this case, it’s best to show the customer that you truly do care about their issue and you are in this together to get the problem resolved.
How to Deal With Angry Customers: Using Online Chat
In the digital age, it’s more likely that you’ll encounter a customer via chat who wants immediate solutions to their pressing problems. That said, here are some examples of what NOT to do if you want to not only make the customer happy, but also retain their business and loyalty:
- DO NOT, under any circumstances send them a generic link to your FAQ page after they have sent you a paragraph of woes. There is nothing that will make your customer angrier faster; it can come across as not taking their issue seriously enough to investigate it fully on their behalf.
- DO NOT sit on their request because it’s hard and you don’t have an answer for them. The longer that chat bubble sits unattended, the faster the customer will run into your competitor’s arms.
Instead, answer their questions thoughtfully. If there is a solution that is covered in your FAQ’s then acknowledge that and send the answer to them directly. You want your customers to feel heard so that they stay with you.
That brings us to our next point: Say this customer’s inquiry is too advanced, and you really don’t know how to help them. In this case, it’s best to acknowledge their inquiry and tell them that you will be passing it to someone above you or a specialist who can help them. The faster you answer them, the less likely they are to blow up the Google Reviews page or Yelp and leave you forever.
How to Deal With Angry Customers: via Email
Oftentimes, a customer has already spoken to customer support via phone and chat but didn’t get the answers they were looking for. Cue the angry email.
We know, you’ve seen your fair share of these. Here’s the thing about emails: they aren’t as instant as a phone conversation or as direct as a chat bubble, and you don’t have the opportunity to diffuse the situation in real-time. Not to mention that what you say in one reflects on your business forever. Because of this, you need to approach your response carefully and lead with empathy for their issue, while taking their frustration into consideration when crafting the right response.
If you are currently on the receiving end of an angry customer email, please do yourself a favor and visit our 6 Email Templates to Respond to Customer Complaints — we promise, it’s worth the read.
How to Win Them Back
No matter how upset a customer is, there is always a chance to win them back. Don’t fall into the mindset of “We blew it, I guess that’s that.” Instead, think of every customer interaction is a chance to deliver an exceptional customer experience!
Even if you have a customer that wrote you a bad review, or one who yelled at a representative and threatened to drop your service, we have a trick up our sleeve that will help you win these folks back: it’s a little something called Service Recovery, the secret weapon you didn’t know you needed. If you’ve had a customer who had a poor service experience, here’s your chance to close the loop and make things right. Instantly spotlight negative interactions, determine a service recovery plan, and measure the impact of service recovery.
Don’t let your negative customer interactions float off into the ether. Take immediate action and make things right; your customer deserves it.
Arm your agents with the perfect response to common customer complaints, right in their back pocket. Download our 10 Customer Service Email Templates Every Agent Needs.