I’ll bet every one of us has been in the situation where we were faced with an angry customer. It’s not pleasant - for so many reasons, particularly given the very wise adage: The customer is always right!
Well, the customer is always right – believe me, if you get into a power struggle with your customer, you are going to come off second best.
Here are some quick tips
on how to handle an angry customer in a way that will keep them as a customer and enable you to retain your ‘adult thinking’ in the face of an onslaught:
• I just said above that the customer is always right – that doesn’t mean they are always actually ‘right’, it means that we have to behave in a way that reflects this attitude
on our part. Fact is, it's irrelevant if the customer is right or wrong – there’s a problem here and you need to solve it. Trying to ‘save face’ and point out where they went wrong will only worsen the problem.
• Seek to understand the message itself
and not the way it’s being communicated. If you can get beyond your natural feelings of anger/fear and focus on what the customer is actually needing you to know, you can speak to the problem and not the emotion.
• Make a ‘no blame’ apology. Just because you didn’t make the mistake, doesn’t obviate the need for them to hear an apology
from you. You represent your entire company so saying something like: “I’m sorry to hear that…” is a wholly appropriate way to react.
• Don’t interrupt, ever. Let the customer finish their tirade, then ask probing questions
: “Am I correct when I say that you are worried about…?”
• Lastly, spell out how you intend fixing the situation
and make sure the customer understands time lines, steps being taken etc.
These are just a few of the aspects of customer service we explore on our comprehensive and very real customer care courses. We flesh out how to remain calmly assertive, how to diffuse the situation and so on. It’s no wonder this is such a hugely popular course.
Remaining cool under fire requires practise, tools and the correct approach. You’ll get all of these and more on our one or two day courses.
is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.
Email us at info@StaffTraining.co.za
for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660