It is unavoidable that one day you will face dissatisfied customers even though you try your best to deliver the best products, services and customer service. For the very first time, you may find yourself in the middle of chaos, attempting to seek a solution to how to deal with angry customers.
Understanding your headache, in this article, Smart Tribune - the leading customer self-service solution will be equipping you with:
- A comprehensive guide on how to deal with angry customers,
- Possible causes of customers' frustration,
- Signs of unhappy customers,
- Reasons why dealing with angry customers is important,
- Frequently asked questions about difficult customers.
It's time to win back your customers! Let's get the ball rolling.
Guide to How to Deal With Angry Customers?
1. Training all your customer service agents
Dealing with angry customers is a skill that is far from obvious. It requires a healthy dose of diplomacy and self-mastery.
As director of customer relations, make sure that all of your call center operators – or at least those who demonstrate a weakness in this area – participate in the training of successful customer relations. There are various efficient training and seminars specialized in handling customer dissatisfaction.
2. Listening and understanding the situation
If you’re wondering how to deal with angry customers and how to establish the start of a dialogue, know that the most essential quality for an agent is to be a good listener!
By defining customer satisfaction and giving your full attention to understanding the nature of the customer’s issue, you will have already done a big part of the work in resolving the conflict. Avoid cutting them off even if you think you’ve already understood their request.
3. Knowing how to rephrase your question to avoid conflict
When facing a difficult customer, what’s the best way to show them immediately that you’ve listened adequately and understood their request? - simply by rephrasing what they’ve told you!
Your rephrasing (“You encountered an issue with x or y, did I understand that correctly?”) will be felt like a sign of consideration by the customer and it transmits the signal that communication has been established. From that point on, the relationship has more of a chance of being constructive.
If you need to know more about communicating with customers, check out our article A quick guide for improving customer communications.
4. Staying calm in all circumstances to avoid conflict with your customers
How to deal with angry customers without losing your nerve? To each their own method.
It’s generally recommended to perfect your professional image, remaining neutral and imperturbable.
If you’re dealing with managing an aggressive or insulting customer, nothing’s stopping you from alerting them, courteously, that they’ve crossed a line, especially if the exchange is happening face to face and in public.
In any case, don’t lose your cool and feed their rage through sarcasm, condescension or passive aggressiveness.
5. Demonstrating a positive attitude
A customer service agent should remain positive and continue to give a good impression of the brand in all circumstances, without minimizing or denying the customer’s complaint.
In general, you should convey the idea that the matter will be taken very seriously by your team, and be careful to avoid negative remarks.
Also, keep an eye out for agents that may have a hard time taking on the role of brand representative and who might openly blame the company for any customer issues.
6. Demonstrating empathy
The dissatisfied customer on the other line could be you! Whatever the nature of the issue, it’s essential to be able to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Remember that the customer doesn’t know all of the company’s services and products, and may make honest mistakes in judgment. An agent who knows how to demonstrate empathy will be more patient and courteous with customers.
7. Apologizing to the customer or not?
Why - and how - should you deal with your dissatisfied customers?
Sometimes, more than a solution, a customer is expecting acknowledgment from you regarding their bad experience, in other words, a proper apology!
There are numerous ways to formulate an apology and justification without damaging the brand image.
Don’t hesitate to suggest precise vocabulary to your agents and to propose, for example, “I regret that…” rather than “I’m sorry.”
Pragmatic customer service may choose to communicate an apology even when the company didn’t actually do anything wrong.
8. Proposing solutions to the customer to avoid conflict
It’s important that a dissatisfied customer gets an initial response, even if it’s incomplete or provisional, from their first call. If not, their frustration will continue to grow and the risk that they’ll leave to a competitor is tenfold.
Let’s recall that an unhappy customer who gets a response will remain loyal 9 times out of 10.
Don’t waste this potential and monitor your first contact resolution rate.
9. Otherwise, offering compensation to your customers
Have you put in place all these practices and your customer is still dissatisfied? What should you do?
Sometimes, the damage has been done and the problem cannot be solved.
Apologies don’t suffice in this kind of situation and it’s important to offer compensation in a different form, even if it’s symbolic.
A commercial gesture, a partial or full reimbursement, a free gift…Small details can often allow you to restore your reputation with a disappointed customer.
10. Benefiting from the conflict to improve your service and anticipate future conflicts
Although unpleasant, the management of a dissatisfied customer’s complaint is one of your biggest opportunities to benefit from sincere customer feedback.
Don’t waste it and systematically share the relevant comments with the concerned parties to avoid any further negative effects of customer dissatisfaction.
Finally, how to deal with angry customers or somewhat annoyed customers? Whatever the issue, the recipe is the same: listening, empathy, reactivity and good business sense will be the best skills for diffusing most conflicts and developing a winning customer experience strategy.
Possible Causes of Customers' Frustration
Frustration, disappointment, anger or any other negative feelings towards a brand have its causes. Being fully aware of the reasons why customers are losing interest may help your brand easily figure out how to deal with angry customers. Let's dig deeper into what may drive your customer mad!
1. Low-quality customer service
There's no surprise that poor customer service appears right in the first place on the list. A brand that doesn't prioritize the staff training process will sooner or later face this issue.
A poorly trained staff may bring more serious problems than you think. Customers may have to wait endlessly for a response or support. Timely assistance plays an essential role in delighting customers and improving retention as they feel to be heard.
Apparently, it isn't very wise to leave your live chat offline or your mailbox full of unread messages from customers.
Not only does instant reply contribute to the customers' satisfaction but also helpfulness. Any customer will soon be fed up with answers that cannot alleviate his headache and get angry, and then start complaining.
These aforementioned signs of poor customer service can bring about bad reviews on social media pages, as well as review websites. Complaints on those platforms will immediately frighten prospects away and create golden chances for competitors to win your existing customers.
That's the reason why each and every brand should pay more attention to the training process and ensure its utmost quality. The output of the customer service training section can create an impact instantly because of the direct interaction between staff and customers.
One of the optimal solutions for smooth training procedures is to make sure knowledge is transferred properly. An internal knowledge base will give you a leg up as the information is collected and sufficient for training purposes.
If you're working your fingers to the bone to find out a flawless technique to gather information, give Smart Knowledge a whirl. Smart Knowledge will be your secret weapon to successfully coach your team since your team can access accurate and up-to-date information anywhere anytime.
Timely and helpful assistance from Smart Knowledge system will help your customer service representatives provide immediate support to customers and satisfy them.
Learn more about customer experience:
- The Importance of Customer Experience
- 6 Customer Service KPIs You Absolutely Must Measure
- 5 Ways To Satisfy Customer Needs
2. Broken promises
Learning how to deal with angry customers may take time but trying to avoid customers' dissatisfaction will allow you to devote less, both time and money! So, it is worth noting that your brand shouldn't make promises unless your brand can live up to them.
Keeping promises lays the foundation for trust and respect for a brand. Therefore, customers can easily get angry, displeased and disturbed by empty promises about a product's function, refund terms and policies, customer support policies and the like.
Simply put yourself in the customer's shoes! Imagine that you were having dinner in a restaurant that promised to serve you the best chicken in town, but it turned out to be a boring chicken dish. Would you still opt for that restaurant for your next meal? Absolutely NOT.
Not keeping promises shows that your brand does not value customers, which will shortly lead to customer churn.
3. Changing customer service rep to another
No one loves to again and again talk about their issues instead of receiving an effective solution and neither do the customers. The transfer of assistants not only forces customers to spend much more time on describing what's happening but also makes them more irritated with the problems as they cannot solve them ASAP.
It could be worst if that snag causes human or financial loss.
To avoid the hassle, you can leverage Smart Bot - our AI-powered chatbot to quickly give answers to customers, assign complex chats to a human customer service rep and make sure the staff will follow the case from the beginning to the end.
A chatbot can be a silver bullet in the initial customer support process. Discover more:
- What is a chatbot?
- Master chatbot marketing in 10 minutes
- Chatbot use cases that you need to know
- Creating A Chatbot In Different Languages: A Guide To Multilingual Chatbots
- 7 Steps To Find A Good Bot Name & 200+ Industry-Based And Catchy Chatbot Name Ideas
4. No omnichannel customer service available
Another experience that might be the reason of customers' anger is the unavailability of omnichannel customer service. Nowadays, consumers demand consistent support through channels, such as email, live chat, phone, social media platforms or direct interaction.
The convenience of getting support via any channel encourages clients to engage with your brand, saves customers' time, and makes them feel secure. At the same time, you can find chances to upsell and better understand your target customer needs.
If you are new to omnichannel, check out our comprehensive guide on
- How to improve omnichannel customer experience.
- Steps to create a killing buyer journey map for smooth omnichannel experience
5. Unclear information and hidden cost
Hidden information and cost is also frequent reason for customers' discontent. Uncovering unrevealed terms or fees during the buying process definitely makes your customer feel like a fool. There's a high chance that they will share this discomfort online to help other entrepreneurs or buyers not to follow in their footsteps.
Transparency can build your brand's professionalism, and at the same time, allow customers to balance the books.
6. Low-quality products or services
Last but not least, people always expect to purchase a high-quality product or enjoy great service, so in some cases, the customer's anger directly derives from the product or service itself.
Obviously, the one and only panacea for this issue are to improve the product and enhance the service.
With the product, you can:
- Opt for other manufacturers
- Alternate materials or ingredients
- Change the packaging
- Add more robust functionalities.
Meanwhile, with service, you should look over terms and policies, make sure that they are reasonable and try your best to figure out what makes your customers angry or dissatisfied.
It seems that customers' rage mostly comes from poor experiences. Smart Tribune has been building a huge reservoir for upgrading the customer experience, don't miss our valuable insights:
- 7 real customer expectations when it comes to the customer experience
- 8 common customer service experience mistakes to avoid
- What type of customer experience is generation Z expecting?
- Understanding the Metaverse and its potential for customer experience
- How to develop a winning customer experience strategy
Now have we come through the reasons for customer dissatisfaction, it's time to point out the signs of difficult customers. Let's move on!
Signs of Angry Customers
Whether your business is delivering customer experience on an online platform or in a brick-and-mortar store, you should have a sense of customers' emotions. The same principle is applied to dealing with difficult customers. You must pay close attention to some signs to point out if the customers' patience is fading out.
Here comes our guide to spotting signs of dissatisfaction.
1. Keep complaining frequently
Everyone hates complaints. However, a myriad of service experts think that complaints are signs of customer engagement.
It indicates that those customers still have an interest in your brand, your products or your services. They hope that with their sincere feedback, your brand devote more time and effort to fixing things up.
Nonetheless, frequent complaints from customers reflect that:
- Your products need massive improvement
- Customers somehow cannot see your brand's attempt
- Problems are not being tackled.
The more complaints customers voice to your brand, the thinner their patience is. Thus, whatever the reason is, your brand needs to take a course of action immediately to avoid churn.
2. Stop engaging with customer service representatives
To some extent, customers' complaints are an indicator to help you push your business to come up to their expectations. Silence is the worst scenario in supporting customers.
We have to make it clear that frequent complaints that are not resolved lead to losing trust.
As a result, customers may feel that they are not heard. These shoppers are bound to choose one of your competitors to make sure everything is on the right track.
A study reveals that it is 12 times harder to find a new customer than to maintain an existing one. That's why your brand should contact customers for feedback on a regular basis to handle any customers' dilemma in time.
3. Compare your brand with competitors
The accessibility to huge sources of information online can serve as
a double-edged sword. On the one hand, customers know exactly what advantages they have when using your products or service. On the other hand, customers can compare you with your competitors.
If a customer often makes comparisons between your products with competitors', it indicates that they do spend time looking at other companies.
This sounds the alarm bells that your customers might be looking for alternatives.
4. Give no interest in discounts or special offers
If a customer starts ignoring promotional emails or phone calls from your brand, they may have a negative experience with your products or service. It is apparent that everyone loves discounts and freebies, so what makes customers turn their backs on your offers?
It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to win these clients as they are no longer passionate about the products or services.
Why Is Dealing with Difficult Customers Important?
Dealing with angry customers is not easy, and in some cases, it makes you feel defeated. Still, your brand can greatly benefit from those incidents.
Here are a handful of reasons why angry customers are helping you fill the room for improvement.
- You can listen and better understand your clients or buyers.
- Angry customers push you to find better solutions.
- They reveal that they care about your products or services.
- You obtain a better understanding of your products or services.
- Your brand can exploit these outsider perspectives
- Your company still has the opportunity to win customers.
Overall, facing frustrated clients is a challenging task. But if you can find the best way how to deal with angry customers, you can definitely benefit from it.
FAQs about Dealing with Angry Customers1. How to deal with a difficult customer?
The key to successfully dealing with difficult customers is to listen attentively, show a positive attitude, and stay calm. From that, you can easily empathize with them, apologize to them, propose solutions, and offer compensation if needed.2. Why dealing with an angry customer is beneficial?
Although dealing with dissatisfied customers is never easy, you can benefit from it. Those incidents offer you valuable insights into customers' needs, product improvement, customer service enhancement, and optimal solutions exploration.
It might be tricky to handle frustrated customers. Nevertheless, we hope that with our comprehensive guide on how to deal with angry customers, your brand can effectively alleviate any customers' headaches and turn them into loyal customers.