No matter how successful your business is, you’re bound to get phone calls from angry customers from time to time. In fact, some customers might start treating you worse as your business continues to grow and the marketplace starts placing higher expectations on your company.
How to handle an angry customer over the phone
No matter how many angry phone calls you get, you don’t have to let a hostile customer ruin your day- or your reputation. Here are four tips for calming down angry callers, and potentially turning them into one of your company’s most loyal customers.
Remember to remain calm – remember it’s not personal
When confronted with irritation, displeasure, or outright rage, it’s natural to feel a bit defensive. In the field of customer service, however, keeping your composure at all times helps to diffuse difficult situations. Remember that when a customer is yelling, they are angry and frustrated at the situation—not you personally. Possessing effective communication and diplomatic skills is key to remaining composed so that you’re able to completely focus on the needs of the caller instead of your own emotions.
Listen to them before trying to fix the situation
Whether a caller is reaching out about an item that’s been lost in shipment, a product that’s not what they expected, or an unpleasant experience with another team member, they often simply want their concerns to be heard. Fortunately, this means that you can often calm them down just by simply listening to what they have to say.
It can be difficult to listen as a caller unleashes a barrage of complaints, but allowing them to vent at the beginning of the call may clear the air and allow the conversation to proceed in a calmer manner. When a customer feels like you’re taking their problem seriously, they assume that you’re legitimately interested in helping them. By remaining calm, you’re also implying that you’re an expert in your field who knows how to handle the situation. Being a good listener will also help you gather information on the exact nature of the problem, which will help you come up with possible solutions.
Be empathetic and sincere
Although it’s necessary to maintain some level of detachment from the emotions that arise from the situation, doing so shouldn’t prevent you from being warm, approachable, and empathetic. It’s impossible to know exactly what else might be going on in the caller’s life that could be contributing to their annoyance and dismay. Treating them with the same respect, consideration, and concern that you would offer to a disappointed friend or family member will go a long way in calming them down.
Explain the solutions you have to offer
Once you’ve allowed the caller the opportunity to air their grievances and then established the lines of communication, your next steps are to explain the solutions you have to offer. At this point, most callers will be more receptive to your suggestions and guidance on what steps should be taken next.