In the past, dealing with complaints was a private affair. Customers sent a letter of complaint to the owner and the matter was dealt with. It felt more… sacred.
However, in the glorious age of connectivity and digital transformation, where information travels faster than the speed of light, a negative tweet from an angry customer could have a reach of over a thousand. And as people continue to become more candid, the effects become more detrimental.
It’s terrifying to think that a tweet, a comment from a YouTube video or blog, are enough to tarnish your brand.
However, whether the anger is justified or not, your job is to serve the customer. So here’s our guide on dealing with angry customers.
How to deal with angry customers?
The more you try to distance yourself from the situation, the angrier your customers are going to get. In fact, the anger will only accumulate as time progresses. The best thing to do is to acknowledge the problem and address it right away.
This study conducted in 2015 revealed that the average Twitter response time from businesses was 1 day, 7 hours and 12 minutes. While 64% of customers expect a response on Twitter within an hour.
First things first, respond to the complaint from the same platform you got the complaint from.
Step two: Breathe.
You can’t control what your customers say, but you can control how you respond.
Receiving negative feedback can be jarring at first, and when it’s coming from an angry customer, the negativity is amplified.
Remember to stay calm. You gain nothing when you respond in a similar manner, in fact the situation may get escalated if you do so.
Time to put your listening skills to the test- pay attention to what the customer is saying. Step into their shoes, understand what they’re feeling. Ask why they’re upset.
Most times, angry customers are looking for a space to vent out their frustrations. Give them the space they need to do so, but pay attention to what is being said. And make sure your customer knows that you understand where they’re coming from.
This one is simple- say sorry for the negative experience your customer’s going through. Whether or not the customer’s complaint is legitimate, apologize so that you can go on with the next step.
The ability to empathize comes with the ability to offer an appropriate solution for your customer. But if you’re feeling doubtful, it’s good practice to ask your customer what they need to move forward.
Listen to what they’re seeing, and if you can meet their needs- great! But sometimes, it might not be so easy. In this case, look for a solution that you both can agree on. If there is a negative, counter it immediately with a positive to find the middle ground.
This kind of situation is extremely stressful for you or your agent handling the customer complaint. Take some time out of your day to unwind a little bit- take a walk, or maybe treat yourself to a coffee before you go back to work.
Remember that the anger coming from your customer isn’t against you. If a customer is dissatisfied with a product or a service, their negative feelings are reserved for them, not you.
However, if the complaint is truly heinous and unjustified, it is well within your right to delete the comment and move on.
The first time a situation like this happens, it can be quite jarring. So in case something like this happens again, have a plan of action for next time. But if you consider your customer’s complaints and implement solutions to tackle these comments, there won’t be a next time, eh?
Here's another reference article that highlights some more creative ways to handle angry prospects!
What customers want
What angry customers want the most is to feel heard. And while angry tweets travel fast, your Engati chatbot messages can travel faster. Handle all customer complaints with an Engati chatbot and address complex queries with Live Chat.
Explore Engati’s digital CX solutions today to get started!