Those darn Angry Customers!

A happy customer is essential to every business, not only do they spend more when they are happy, they refer more customers to your business. On the other hand, Angry Customers will waste your time & efforts and stress down your employees, then talk bad about your business. You will not only loose the customer but also loose all the potential referrals ho would have got you.

What makes a customer angry?
The customer becomes angry the product or service that they purchased from you did not meet their expectations, or it was not delivered on time or in perfect condition, or maybe the rep that they dealt with was rude and/or incompetent.

What type of angry customers are there?

1. The Spartan – This type of client is angry about anything and everything, and they think that it’s all your fault. Everything’s a battle with them, hence the name.
How To Deal With Them: Let them know that you understand their anger, and that you can empathize. Try to use the same words and body language that they do; basically, they don’t currently see you as a person, but rather a corporate face, so if you can emulate them to the point that they see themselves in you, they’ll start acting more civilized.
2. The Mind Changer – The mind changer repeatedly changes their shippingpreference, wants to start and cancel a service, or wants to change the color or size of a product. They just can’t figure out what they came to you for, and they’re upset that your business doesn’t have the limitless flexibility to satiate them.
How To Deal With Them: Reason with them and let them know that it costs you money when they keep changing their mind. Try to shift their focus onto what they’ll be getting rather than how much it costs–the reason they keep changing their mind is almost always money.
3. The Business Owner – This guy owns his own business, and it runs quite a bit better than this business you’ve got here. Why, in his company, customers are treated immediately and the prices are fair. And he knows what you paid for that thing–give him that price, or he’s walking! Nevermind that as a business owner, he should know how difficult it is to deal with bad clients and make a profit.
How To Deal With Them: Talk business with them. Explain that it doesn’t make you a profit to make customers upset, and that there’s a very good, business sound reason for everything that you do. If you’ve made a mistake, own up to it, and remind them that all businesses make mistakes, it’s how they deal with them that matters.
4. The Talker – The talker is possibly the worst type of client to have,because they may be friendly as the dickens and all around OK, it’s just that they’ll talk and talk for hours. Often they’ll tell you about their pets, or give you a sob story to explain why you shouldn’t charge them what you charge everyone else.
How To Deal With Them: There’s just no way to be polite and brief. Tell them you’ve got to help other customers, and you’ve got to go, and thank them. If you’re on the phone, use any pause after you say this to say goodbye and hang up. They’ll get the message. You should never lie to these customers, because they’ll be severely offended if they’re able to catch you in said lie.
Is there a hidden agenda?
YES! notice that with a really angry person, even if you can “fix” the problem, the person still acts in angry or nasty ways? Why is that? Well, actually angry customers want several things. Yes, they want the problem fixed, but they also want to BE HEARD, TO BE LISTENED TO, and to have their upset and emotional state recognized and acknowledged.
The solution is to follow this general rule: When faced with an angry customer, FIRST focus on acknowledging the feelings and upset of the customer. Once the customer starts to calm down as a result of having his or her feelings recognized, THEN move to solving the problem. You’ll find that this will save you a lot of time and energy.
Here are few tips when confronted with an Angry Customer:
1. Don’t take it personally.
Understand that most angry customers aren’t angry with you personally, but rather with the situation in which they currently find themselves. They may be frustrated and, until you hear them out, you have no idea why.
2. Let them vent.
Part of being good at customer service is letting the customer feel that he has the floor. Let him tell you the entire story. Take notes if it is long or involved. Only after the customer has felt like he has said his peace should you attempt to solve his problem. Make sure you are actively listening to what he is saying and what he is not saying. Sometimes you can tell more about what would satisfy a customer by paying attention to what your customer didn’t say or by the nonverbal cues your customer gives out -than you can by the words he chooses.
3. Ask for clarification if there is something that you do not understand.
Better to ask what may seem like a dumb question then to start off on the wrong path to solve his problem. If you begin by answering a question he didn’t ask, the anger will only intensify. Make sure you know what it is that happened and perhaps what he wants done about it before you begin.
4. Validate your customer.
Sympathize and empathize with your customer as much as possible. Tell him you are sorry that he is so frustrated. This is not the same as admitting fault or accepting blame for the situation. It just further lets your customer know that you are there to help him and are interested in his welfare and not just the company’s bottom line. Otherwise your reactions to his anger or your responses to his statements may serve only to fuel the customer’s anger.
5. State back to the customer what you heard him say.
To make sure you didn’t misunderstand, state back to the customer what you heard him say is the problem. This way you can clear up any last minute details before you get into the answer with him.
6. You don’t have to have all the answers.
Saying “I don’t know.” may be the correct answer to the customer’s question. One of the worst things you can do is to pretend to know the answer only to find that it won’t work for the customer. Be honest and tell the customer you will have to find out for him and call him back. Ask him if he can hold if the answer is within reach. Make sure you follow up with the customer when you said you would!
7. Share your commonalities with your customer instead of focusing on the differences.
Identify with him by bringing out something that you both have in common. Perhaps share a short story about something similar that happened to you.
8. Tell your customer what you can do for him.
If you can do exactly what your customer wants, fantastic! If you can’t, have another proposal ready that would be a good fit for your customer. If you feel it is warranted (and if you can), offer a freebie or a discount on another product to show good faith.
9. If your suggestion doesn’t appeal to the customer, ask him what he would like you to do and see if you can accommodate him.
Sometimes your customer may not even know what he wants from you. Stating this may help your customer realize that they are being unreasonable. Or perhaps your customer will come up with a way that will work for him that you would never have thought of on your own.
10. Explain why you may be limited in what you can do.
If it simply isn’t possible to do what he wants or if it is just too costly for your company to do this, explain that openly and honestly with your customer.
11. Thank your customer for bringing this to your attention.
If they have brought an issue to your attention that will allow you to better meet the needs of your other customers, this is a good thing for you to know! Thank your customer for allowing you to provide better service or a better product to your customers. They will appreciate knowing that not only did you help them with their problem, but that they were the catalyst for a positive change in your company
And always be polite!
Well, would you believe me if I told you that you could learn some techniques that would turn this person in to a happy customer? It’s true!
Many times what an angry person really wants is someone who will listen and do their best to help. They don’t necessarily need someone to say the “right thing” or someone who will “solve all their problems”. They just need you to listen and do your level best to help them get what they feel they deserve.
Now we interrupt this communication advice for a message from reality: *BIG DISCLAIMER* Nothing in communicating with human beings is certain because every person is different and their moods change from day to day or even minute by minute.
Nothing works 100% of the time, but these tips will help you increase your chances of creating a connection with this person and enable him walk away feeling that you honestly did you utmost to help him!

Make the angry customer want to come back again
A customer complaint can be a vehicle for customer retention. If you handle the customer appropriately and apologize effectively you can turn a negative into a positive.
Never counter angry customers with your own anger: Remember that the simple mathematical principle of ‘minus into minus is plus’ does not hold good in the case of human relationships. You have to face a confrontational situation by dousing the irate customer with a sprinkling of your cool behaviour and by trying to give due respect even though the customer might be yelling and swearing at you. You must resolve to stay calm and try to satisfy the customer even in the most difficult situations. It is only by expressing respect that you will win him over.
Khaled
  • http://www.omar.fm Omar Abdelhaq

    Nice post man, really helpful 🙂

  • http://40some.wordpress.com 40Some

    Thank you Omar, these tips can be used for business and even in our personal lives.

  • Samer

    I think that a good service that satisfy the customer specially in the field of IT and telecommunication must be based on :

    1-Excellent infrastructure hardware and software, optimized and easy to maintain and upgrade without killing the service, slow it for a certain amount of time is ok, but killing it for unlimited time is a disaster.
    2-Excellent marketing department that knows the market needs, and a NONE layers sales department that can implement the marking plans professional without the need of laying.
    3-Customer service ,sure they must be qualified ,but without having the above points ,they are in deep problem and they can’t really help, what they will till the customer if the service is down for example 2 days ? and what they will the customer if he subscribe to example 512K ADSL and the sales told him that he can download from the web with speed of 512 k/S
    4-And the most important is the management, managers that can understand their team needs , yearly review that really satisfy employee.

    Have these points done correctly ,then every one will be happy 😀

  • Duha Awayes

    This should be a required a reading for all CS managers before personnel. Soon when the saga is over, I will write about my CS nightmare with Orange. Stay tuned.