Customer Experience News & Trends

Customers angry? 5 steps calm them

All customers get angry – and most of them control their anger and work toward a resolution. But for those who don’t, here’s how to handle them.

Front-line service and sales pros face a lot of customer issues every day, but dealing with upset customers could be the most difficult.

These steps will help staff and customers break through the anger and reach a solution that makes everyone happy:

1. Reiterate the problem

When customers take a break from ranting, step in, to ask if you can make sure you understand the problem. Paraphrase the issue in a calm, even tone to help build the customers’ confidence that you understand and want to help. You can ask customers to clarify anything you didn’t get exactly right, too.

2. Validate the anger

Let customers know they have a right to be angry (or feel any way they want to feel). That shows them that they matter to you and you’re taking them seriously. Keep the focus on customers by saying, “I can understand why you’re upset.”

3. Focus on the solution

The best solution when dealing with upset customers is the one they get to pick. So, when possible, give customers two or three options as the ideal solution. When customers feel in control of the situation again, they’re more likely to shake the anger.

4. Gain permission

You probably know it’s smart to follow up with angry customers who’ve contacted you with issues. Even better, ask these customers if you can follow up to make sure they’re satisfied with how things turned out. It tells them that the situation was important to you and you’re invested in keeping them happy.

5. Thank customers

Thank customers for giving you the opportunity to right the situation and maintain a relationship. Say, “Thank you for bringing this to my attention” or “Thank you for letting me resolve this for you.” It gives them one last validation that theirs was a real issue that deserved personal attention.

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