7 Effective Ways to Deal With Angry Customers and Why They’re Actually Good for Your Business

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Angry customers. More or less often we all get to deal with them. And it can be pretty difficult, right?

But not all angry customers are the same. Some of them stay professional and express their dissatisfaction calmly, while others lose their patience, shout and use, let’s call it, not-so-professional language.

We all know that the customer is always right, but when the situation gets heated, it’s easy to forget that and let emotions take over. But this is the worst thing that can happen! Arguing with a customer is never a good idea and can damage your reputation.

To help you avoid that, we have some tips for you on how to deal with challenging customers. These tips will allow you to not only resolve the issues but also turn those angry customers into happy ones!

angry customer screaming on a phone
Photographer: Icons8 Team | Source: Unsplash

Stay calm

It might sound obvious but it’s one of the most important things when dealing with angry customers (or not only customers!).

When something doesn’t meet your customers’ expectations, their initial reaction can be emotions-based. They might raise their voice or swear at you. This kind of behaviour can make you want to defend yourself and do the same thing. However, if you do so, it will only lead to bigger arguments where you only blame each other without finding a solution.

When you stay calm, the other person is more likely to calm down too. Once they see that you want to listen and help them, they’ll settle down and will be willing to have a conversation that will actually solve their problem.

Let them talk and listen to what they say

Angry customers are angry for a reason. And if your customer complains, they don’t do that just for fun. They want to be heard and understood. So let them talk! Even if you know what their problem is and how you can solve it, don’t try to interrupt them. Let them say everything they have to say. But, most importantly, listen!

Don’t try and do other things while your customer is explaining their problem. Instead, pay full attention to them and if the conversation is happening face to face, keep eye contact and show facial expressions to prove that you’re listening and are willing to help.

Moreover, when someone is complaining, your goal is to ask questions that encourage further responses. For example, if someone is complaining about your product, don’t just ask if they would like a refund. Ask something like “how could we improve to meet your expectations?”. A question like this is beneficial for both sides. It will show your customer that their opinion is valid and even if they don’t come back again, you will get a better insight into what your customers expect from you and how to avoid situations like this in the future.

When dealing with angry customers, be empathetic

“A person is screaming at me, why should I show any empathy?” you might ask.

A lot of the time, conflicts arise because we look at the situation from our own perspective. But to understand what your customer is really going through, you need to put yourself in their shoes.

Sometimes you might think that a problem your customer is facing is very minor and they shouldn’t even worry about it, while in reality, it’s something that is extremely important to them.

When you can identify the root cause of why the customer is angry, you can find better ways to calm them down.

angry customers complaining. when dealing with angry customers, be empathetic

Acknowledge and take action as quickly as possible

Angry customers aren’t the most patient. They want their problems solved quickly. And you should want the same thing!

Whether you receive a complaint in person, on a phone or online, you need to react quickly. If you fail to respond promptly, you risk damaging your reputation. The longer a customer feels ignored, the more likely they are to share their experiences with their family, friends, colleagues or even strangers by leaving an online review.

These days, most businesses receive customers’ requests online. If you do too, then it’s a great practice to set up an automated response that explains how long it might take for you to get back to them. This way you or your customer service team will have enough time to solve the issue. Also, it will let your customer know that their request has been received and when they might need to follow up if they don’t get the answer.

Apologise and take responsibility

Sometimes all you need to do to calm those angry customers down is to apologise. Make them feel that you’re genuinely sorry about the problem they are facing.

After apologising, take responsibility and show them that you’ll do everything you can to resolve the issue. Even if you have nothing to do with the thing they’re complaining about, act like you are completely responsible for it.

Explain what actions you’re going to take and how long it might take. This will show that you value their custom and once their problem is sorted out, they’ll be more likely to come back again!

Don’t take things personally – angry customers aren’t actually angry with you

Dealing with angry customers can be extremely difficult if you take everything they say personally. When angry, some people say things they don’t actually mean. And that can be insulting, lower your confidence or even make you scared of having to deal with any angry customers again.

But how do you not take things personally?

Remember, if a customer is being rude or angry, they would be the same way even if there was someone else talking to them instead of you. They are most likely angry with the situation and not with a specific person. You just happen to be the one trying to help them.

Try to ignore any personal comments a customer makes. You can also remind them that you are there to help them and are doing your best to resolve the issue.

angry customers complaining in a café and a waitress looking upset

Follow up

Once the problem is solved, don’t forget to follow up. Don’t let those angry customers forget that you care about them and their problems!

After a few days, if possible, call them to find out if everything is fine and ask whether they have any other complaints. It’s also an opportunity to find out what they think about your customer service.

The fact that you go out of your way and contact them to get their feedback will make them feel valued and appreciated and will help you retain customers. That sounds like a win-win situation!

Why are angry customers actually good for your business?

The answer is very simple.

Any negative feedback gives you an opportunity to grow and improve! Without knowing what you do wrong you can’t change things that don’t work. This can lead to losing more customers who might think the same but don’t express their thoughts.

Also, if you know how to deal with those angry customers, it will prove to your prospects that they can trust you and your business. They’ll know that even if they have any issues after buying from you, you will do everything you can to resolve them.

Want to learn more?

Knowing how to deal with angry customers is essential. But if you want your business to grow, you will need a bit more than that!

Check out our Growth Programme – from business development to marketing and sales, this course covers everything you need to know to take your business to the next level!