How to Handle Angry Customers: 15 Tips​

How to Handle Angry Customers: 15 Tips

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Dealing with irate customers is a universal challenge that businesses of all sizes and industries encounter. Whether you run a bustling restaurant, manage an e-commerce platform, or oversee customer service for a tech company, the reality is clear: angry customers are an inevitable part of the business landscape. 

In this article, we’ll explore the art of handling disgruntled customers with finesse and efficiency. With 10 practical tips, we’ll navigate the complexities of diffusing tension, identifying root causes, and transforming potentially negative encounters into opportunities for customer satisfaction.

Common reasons customers get angry

Ensuring a clear presentation of your products and services is essential to align promises made before purchase with post-purchase expectations seamlessly. Dissatisfaction among customers often arises due to various reasons:

1. Product or service usability: A discrepancy between promised features and actual performance can lead to customer annoyance. Emphasizing transparency in the sales process is vital to minimize challenges after purchase, preventing an influx of frustrated customer calls to your inbound contact center.

2. Impact of updates on customer experience: Regular updates to products and services, including price changes, are necessary to stay competitive. Having a crisis communication plan for impending upgrades is crucial to avoid issues like potential service disruption and unexpected performance lags that customers might face after a significant overhaul.

3. Accessibility of customer support: The ease with which customers can reach your customer service is pivotal. Even minor issues can escalate into frustration if the path to resolution is cumbersome. Monitoring key contact center metrics, such as average hold time and call abandonment rate, is essential for maintaining customer satisfaction.

4. Poor service experience: Frustration often sets in when customers struggle to find a satisfactory resolution. While meeting every customer request may not be practical, navigating these service scenarios determines whether a customer departs with a sense of reasonable satisfaction or vows never to engage with your business again.

5. Personal problems: Customers dealing with personal difficulties may experience heightened emotions when these issues intersect with inconveniences caused by your product or service. Although beyond your control, this scenario highlights the critical role of call center agent training in effectively serving sensitive customers with empathy and active listening.

10 practical tips to handle angry customers

First and foremost, it’s imperative for businesses to acknowledge that customers typically reach out when they face unresolved difficulties, despite having explored other channels such as the website or helpdesk software. Simultaneously, frontline agents must understand that the tone directed at them is not personal; rather, it is an expression of inconvenience faced by a paying customer who trusts the products or services. This section outlines 19 proven tips on handling interactions with angry customers.

1. Introduce Yourself:

Initiate the conversation by introducing yourself and your role in the company, signaling that the issue is taken seriously by the relevant employees. Address the customer by name, demonstrating a personalized approach.

2. Maintain Your Composure:

Stay composed, even if the customer blames you for poor service. Losing your cool can negatively impact the situation and hinder effective resolution.

3. Listen Carefully:

Allow the customer to express their concerns actively, whether on call, in person, or through digital channels. Actively listening helps understand the root cause of the issue.

4. Acknowledge and Apologize

Regardless of the complaint’s validity, acknowledging the customer’s situation and offering an apology can de-escalate the situation. Taking responsibility builds trust and showcases commitment to resolution.

5. Identify the Real Issue

Train agents on effective communication to avoid negative perceptions. Encourage the use of the right questions to understand the root cause and expedite resolutions.

6. Summarize the Problem

After listening to the customer’s concerns, summarize and reiterate the issues. This ensures alignment on concerns and facilitates navigation toward an optimal solution.

7. Employ Historical Data

Retrieve customer and issue-related historical data from the contact center CRM to provide informed suggestions and adopt a data-driven approach for effective problem-solving.

8. Identify the Plan of Action

Establish an action plan, communicate a clear resolution timeline, and prioritize issues based on customer loyalty, SLA breaches, or potential customer churn.

9. Develop Critical Thinking

Collaboratively examine each stage of the process, seeking comprehensive answers and considering temporary solutions, such as service extensions or prompt refunds.

10. Avoid Putting Them on Hold for Too Long

Minimize hold times using a unified agent console equipped with AI, providing real-time information and reducing the need for extended waiting.

11. Apprise Your Manager if Needed

If necessary, escalate the situation to a senior manager, demonstrating commitment to customer sentiments and accessible upper management.

12. Know Your Limits

Avoid overpromising and underdelivering; stand firm against unfair demands to maintain a balanced and fair interaction.

13. Be Grateful

Express gratitude for the customer’s trust and outreach, building rapport and leaving a positive impression.

14. Follow Up

After resolution, follow up with the customer to ensure satisfaction, demonstrating ongoing commitment to their experience.

15. Deploy Call Center Technology:

Leverage call center technology and AI to streamline issue resolution, utilizing chatbots and virtual agents for immediate responses, especially advantageous for prompt solutions with angry customers.

Turn angry customers into happy ones

As per a survey, 66% of participants express extreme frustration when compelled to repeat the same information across various employees or channels. To address this prevalent challenge, consider utilizing the Born Digital platform. It equips your agents with AI-driven tools tailored for managing upset customers effectively. These include:

1. Analytics Software:
Analyze customer intent and sentiment in real-time. Evaluate individual agent performance using AI-scoring parameters like opening/closing quality, introduction, active listening, empathy, and more.

2. Conversational AI platform:
Easily build, train, and deploy AI bots using our no-code platform across all languages and channels.

For a comprehensive exploration of Born Digital, sign up for a demo with our experts today.

Find out how you can leverage Born Digital's Generative and Conversational AI solutions to drive business results.

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