Written By Alerus Small Business Connect
You’ve heard it hundreds of times: when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. In the world of customer service, this adage takes the form of “when business hands you angry customers, turn them into company supporters.”
Easier said than done? Perhaps. And yet if you embrace angry customers with an attitude of gratitude, you’d be amazed at the results. Gratitude?! Yes, gratitude. If we don’t know where we’re falling short, how can we improve?
Angry or frustrated customers can either talk to you, or they can talk to several of their friends about the terrible way you do business. Which do you prefer?
By talking to you, angry customers are giving you the opportunity to rectify the situation and renew their faith in you. Take the opportunity and run! Here are six tips you might find helpful:
Six Ways to Deal with Angry Customers:
- Say thank you. Yes, that’s right, say thank you. Thank them for their feedback and for taking the time to share it with you. Tell them that customer feedback is extremely important to you and that you value it.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Identify and understand their frustration. Don’t “out-do” them with a horrific customer service story of your own. This is about them, not you. Tell them that you can imagine how frustrated they must be – and mean it. They will see right through any patronizing attitudes.
- Admit that you don’t know everything. Nobody does. Ask for details on the dispute, the dissatisfaction, the disappointment, etc. The more you know, the more you can help.
- Say I’m sorry. And mean it. A thoughtful and heart-felt apology will go a long way. By coming to you with their frustrations, angry customers are actually helping you improve your business. That’s a good thing! Be genuine when you say that you’re sorry for what they’ve experienced.
- Do something. At the heart of it, an angry customer wants to know what you’re going to do about the situation. Now. Don’t assume that you might lose a customer if you don’t do this step correctly. Assume that you’ve indeed already lost them. A refund, a gift certificate, a discount on a future purchase – whatever. Do something, and do it now.
- Follow up. If the issue is something that will take a bit of time to resolve, follow up with a phone call to ensure things are on track. Tell the customer you want to ensure that you’re getting things right. If the issue was resolved on the spot, still make that follow up call to ensure all’s well with the customer.
By following these steps, you can “turn the frown upside down” for an angry customer. Your business will be the better for it!