How to Handle Angry Customers

Hanna Walther, Ytel |  

How to Handle Angry Customers

Let's modernize that old adage and say, "the customer is not always right, but is always the customer."  In this blog, we're sharing tips and strategies to handle customers who are less than happy with your products or services, and how you can win them back!

How to Handle Angry Customers

Let's modernize that old adage and say, "the customer is not always right, but is always the customer." In this blog, we're sharing tips and strategies to handle customers who are less than happy with your products or services, and how you can win them back! 

When it comes to calming angry customers, a skillful use of language by your representatives could be just as important as simply listening to their grievances. We're going to share a few general tips on how to turn a bad situation into an opportunity to improve your business and look at the words and phrases that can be used to help defuse a situation and hopefully spur a mutually agreeable reconciliation.

Angry Customer Tips

  • First and foremost - listen. It's important that you let the customer have their say first, and avoid talking over them or arguing. As you listen, take the opportunity to build rapport with that person. Just remember, everyone has bad days.

  • Build rapport through empathy.  Hear their source of frustration and show that you understand their position and the situation. Verbally "nod" during the call; identify with a customer's issue and it will help calm them down. Do your best to approach the situation with a calm, clear mind, unaffected by the customer's tone or volume and your demeanor will reflect on them to dissipate anger.

  • Know when to give in. Don't risk negative referrals or waste two hours of time and a bottle of aspirin. Instead, it's better to comprise in the customer's favor, which will give you more time nurture more productive client relationships. Just keep in mind that you're dealing with an exception, not the rule. If necessary, escalate the call to the nearest team leader.

  • Summarize the next steps. At the end of the call, let the customer know what to expect and then be sure to follow through and deliver on promises to the best of your ability. Document the call to make sure that you're well prepared for the next interaction.

  • If you promise a callback - call back! Even if you don't have an update, make sure to keep your date with your customer at the scheduled time. They will be reassured that you're actively trying to rectify things.

Rebuttal Suggestions

  • "I'm so sorry that you feel this way, [client name]..."
  • "We really do appreciate your feedback..."
  • "I completely understand how you feel, Sir/Ma'am..."
  • "Thank you so much for your patience and understanding, [client name]..."
  • "I'm going to do my very best to help you..."
  • "As a solution, may I suggest..."
  • "May I arrange a follow up call at a time that's convenient for you?"
With the right mindset and a positive attitude, you can certainly turn this situation around and show an angry customer you care. What are some tips you've used with success? Share in the comments! 

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About The Author

Hanna Walther, Ytel

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Hanna manages Ytel's Communications strategy and has worked in Marketing for five years. She has a Master's in Communications and is passionate about connecting customers and businesses by building authentic relationships online.


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