If you work in customer service, at some point or another you will eventually have to deal with some angry and rude customers. It is important for your job and your own sanity to be able to handle these people correctly. If you fight with every customer that comes your way with an attitude, then you probably will not have a job in the near future. Take a look at these 10 tips to learn new and creative ways to turn that customers’ day around and more importantly to make sure that your day does not get ruined in the process.
Do Not Mirror Their Emotions
It is important that you remain calm and polite during the entirety of the conversation with an angry customer. Do not smile or laugh in an effort to get them to change their emotional state. Smiling at an angry customer might enrage the person more as it seems like you are not taking their problem seriously. Make sure that you stand your ground and try your best to not escalate the situation. It is your duty to try your best to resolve their issue.
Actively Listen and Ask Questions
Be sure to portray to the customer that their problem is valid and that you care. Ask them questions to fully understand what happened and why there is a problem. If you take the time to listen to what they are trying to say, then you might just agree with them. Perhaps you wouldn’t choose to react the same way, but you can still take the time to understand where they are coming from.
Remind Yourself That This Is Their Bad Day, Not Yours.
Try to understand that this person is mad at a situation and taking it out on you. They are not angry at you as a person. Relax and remind yourself that this person chose to react in this way, while you can offer compassion instead.
Take a deep breath and try to relax. Focusing on your breathing when you become angry can help you to calm yourself down. Breathing from your stomach is a helpful way to naturally relax your entire body. With a calm and reenergized mindset, you will be able to approach the situation with a fresh take.
Apologize and Empathize
Since you have now found out what the problem is through asking questions, you can properly apologize to the customer. One way to make the apology seem sincere is to empathize with what they are going through. Once you have actively listened to the issue at hand and ignored their outburst, you can now understand how they may be feeling. If you do not think that the customer deserves an apology, still offer one anyway. It is the quickest way to start resolving the conflict and getting the customer what they need. Extinguishing the flames is the most important thing; not fanning them.
It is important that you are aware of how the business you work in runs. If you are on your first or second day, then you should direct the person to someone who is more informed. Not knowing what is going on in the business that you are in will only make the customer angrier. For example, if you work in a restaurant and a customer has an issue with the food, knowing what is in the dish is vital to solving their problem.
Control Your Tone of Voice
Raising your voice at a customer is the quickest way to never work for that company again. There are some tricks available to you that will help you with any conflict you may find yourself involved in. Speaking in a lower voice at a slower speed will put the other person at ease during the conversation. Do not give an angry customer a reason to get even angrier by firing back at them. Lowering your voice will make you sound more professional and that will portray to the customer that they are dealing with someone who is not only competent, but able to maintain control in an uncomfortable situation. Slowing your voice down can also have a natural soothing effect on the recipient.
Solve The Problem Or Don’t
If there is a solution to the problem, offer that solution right away. If there is absolutely no solution then be upfront about that. There are many situations you may find yourself in where there is no solution. If you work at a franchise that shares a corporation with other businesses but often partakes in separate promotions from other franchises, you may run into many issues. For example, if someone comes in with a coupon for another store that your store is not equipped to honor then it will not be possible for you to solve that particular issue. The customer may get even angrier, but once they have realized nothing can be done for them they will have no choice but to leave.
Get Help From A Supervisor
It is best to send an angry customer to the proper management or division right away. If you know immediately that you cannot be of service to them once you have heard their problem, then let them know politely that you are going to direct them to the person that can help. Apologize first and politely excuse yourself to find management. For example, “I’m so sorry to hear about that, let me get my supervisor so we can get that issue resolved for you right away.”
Let It Go
Once the problem has been resolved you may be feeling a bit on edge. Dealing with rude, angry, and insulting people can put a damper on your entire day. Go back to your breathing exercises or simply take a timeout. If you can, take a walk around the block, grab some chamomile tea, or simply head to the restroom to compose yourself. Try not to take the issue home with you, or take it personally. When you feel yourself being reminded of the angry, rude customer, switch your thoughts to something positive. Think positive things about yourself or fantasize about how much fun you’re going to have this weekend. Remind yourself that this angry customer did not come into your life to wage a personal attack on you. They were simply unhappy about an issue and were unable to contain their emotions. You, however, were able to contain your emotions to get through a conflict while maintaining your professionalism. That is something to be proud of.