Online companies, regardless of how great their products or services are, will inevitably encounter angry customers at some point in time. Customers can get upset for several possible reasons; some warranted, some not. However, the key is to help resolve the issue at hand in the most effective way possible. This pertinent task lies in the hands of a company’s customer service team because these individuals are the problem solvers. So, if you’re in the business of customer service, check out the list below for the top three ways to deal with someone who is angry or upset.
1. Address The Problem
When dealing with an angry customer, whether it be via email or over the phone, the first thing you need to do is identify why they’re upset. Pinpointing the problem right away will make it easier to figure out a solution (more on that later). So, are they dissatisfied with the service? Have they been overcharged? Do they want to cancel a membership? Canceling a membership is one of the most common reasons that customers get upset, and most of the time it’s because they can’t figure out how to cancel on their own.
These customers get frustrated that they have to contact someone for help with something that really should be much simpler. If that’s the case for your company, it may be smart to create a cancellation page that makes the process simple for customers. For example, Instant Checkmate has an entire web page dedicated to canceling a membership, which allows customers to cancel online, over the phone, or by email. By simplifying the cancellation process, the frequency of angry customer calls and emails may decrease significantly.
2. Show A Genuine Interest In Helping
Every customer, whether they are angry or not, expects to interact with a professional who is friendly and genuinely interested in resolving the issue at hand. Showing that you are invested in helping will calm the customer down right away because they will be confident that their problems will be solved by whatever means possible.
The last thing a customer wants is to deal with someone who is moody and unhelpful because that immediately shows that the company doesn’t care about customer service. If that is the case, then you can bet that they’ll end up getting even more upset because they feel that they’re not getting the attention and help that every customer deserves. Some companies, like Zappos for example, will talk to customers for hours on end to solve a problem, which shows how much they value customer service.
3. Work Together To Come Up With A Solution
When it comes to resolving an issue, particularly when a customer is angry, you must work together to come up with a viable solution. This means that you have to be flexible, answer their questions, and listen to their concerns. In order to be effective, there must be an actual back-and-forth conversation between the two of you, as opposed to you simply telling them what you can do and what is going to happen.
This conversation will make the customer feel more involved in the process, which will lead them to feel more confident in your company’s customer service efforts, as well as your overall brand. Even the angriest customers can experience a change of heart based solely on a successful interaction with a diligent and helpful customer service representative.
Have YOU ever had to interact with an angry customer? How did you handle the problem? Let us know in the comments!
Andrea Herrington is a blogger from Palo Alto, CA. She specializes in writing about customer service and business development.