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Take A Chill Pill: How To Deal With Difficult Customers

dealing with difficult customers

Take A Chill Pill: How To Deal With Difficult Customers

Upset customers always have a lot of things to say, and you have to be all ears for them as a support agent. And when the other line becomes silent, how you respond will dictate the flow of the conversation.

Mistakes are part of running a business. 

When this happens, expect the countless number of calls, emails, and social media mentions to come to your customer support team. But planning and getting prepared for these situations is not the end of it.

What do you say to an angry customer?

People, this is the crucial part. The words you say and how you handle the whole situation will make or break the relationship you have with your customers. It’s essential to know how to properly talk to your customers before getting out of your control.

This article will give you tips and advice on how you can deal with stressful situations better and what phrases or words you can include in your response to satisfy angry customers.

How do I talk to angry customers?

Before going into the specific words or phrases, you can use when interacting with upset customers, let’s start first with the things you can keep in your mind before, during, or even after talking to them to improve both of your experiences. 

Breathe in, breath out

It’s indeed hard to remain quiet and calm when the other person keeps on shouting and saying the same things. You may feel offended and think that they are in the wrong. However, these moments are when you have to remember that being frustrated or angry is normal.

These customers did not receive or experience what they were expecting from doing business with you. Of course, they will feel disappointed and voice out their concerns.

To keep your composure, take a deep breath, and eagerly listen to your customers. Always remind yourself to not take personally the words that are being thrown at you.

However, it’s also important to know your boundaries and not tolerate bad behaviors. When a customer is abusive or rude in your conversation, ask for your manager’s support.

Listen, listen, listen.

We know that we said it three times, and we will say it three times more if we could. There are times when we focus on the customer’s rage too much that we forget to focus on what’s making them feel that way.

We’re not saying that listening will answer all of the customers’ problems, but it will help de-escalate the situation and make them feel heard and valued. 

There will be situations where it’s going to be difficult or even impossible to come up with a solution to their problems; this is why it’s important to show your customers that you acknowledge their efforts to come to you and bring their issues to your attention.

It’s crucial to assure your customers that you’re with them in making things right. These can all be achieved by listening to them and taking all of their concerns and opinions seriously.

Empathy and Sincerity

Putting yourself on customers’ shoes will improve your overall conversations with them. When you’re able to see and feel from their perspectives, you can identify the main reason for their problems and assist faster.

It’s good to admit mistakes and give apologies to your customers, but this will only fully work if coupled with actions. Most of the time, customers reach out to you not because they want an apology, but because they want their issues to be resolved. 

When it comes to accommodating the customers’ needs, be sincere with your choice of words and tone of voice. Let them vent what they have to say, then patiently and respectfully explain what might have caused the problem and what will happen next.

Customers can feel when they are not being taken seriously. This is why it’s essential to practice empathy and sincerity in your interactions with them to avoid a further negative experience with your business. 

What do I say to angry customers?

Here comes what you’re waiting for. What exactly can you say to angry customers? Read on.

The Power of “I”

If you want to give your customer good customer service, you need a more rational approach. When conversing with an upset customer, use “I” to your sentences instead of “We.”

Although there are circumstances where using “we” is more appropriate, the chances of breaking the tension with angry customers are higher when “I” is used in their conversations. Why do you ask?

Well, “I” gives the customers the impression that you take ownership of their problems as a real person. You’re talking to them as a human being, not just as a support agent.

They need to think that their concerns will not be buried under the big piles of complaints that your support team receives. Customers will notice if you’re using a scripted message that has been used for several other customers.

It’s not illegal to prepare your best spiels and reuse them; they’re there for a reason. But when faced with an angry and irritated customer, you have to show that you’re invested in them, and you care for them as an individual.

By incorporating “I” in your written or spoken response, customers will feel more appreciated. 

Avoid saying, “I understand.” 

Why not? 

It’s simple. Because you don’t. 

Unless you were there when the problem happened, or even when you were, the phrases “I understand” or “I understand how you feel” will not make your customers feel validated.

Customers are more likely to feel annoyed when you say these. Instead, use “I hear you.” This phrase will acknowledge their concerns and imply that you’re building a connection with them to learn better where they are coming from. 

Use positive words such as “Yes.”

We know, we know. Sometimes, you just cannot say yes to customers’ demands. But this is just an example. There are a lot of other positive words that you can tell them. One trick is to repeat what your customers say.

This will assure not only the customer but also the agent that they are on the same page. Repeating what your customers say also gives the impression that you listened carefully to them to better understand their situation.

Include words such as “Absolutely,” “Definitely,” “Exactly,” and so on.

These words will make your customers feel confident with your assistance as they give affirmation that you’re doing everything you can to resolve their issues.

When dealing with demanding customers, it’s important to show them that you can be trusted to remove their doubts and de-escalate the heated situation. 

Which brings us to the next tip:

Use the progressive forms of verbs.

Instead of saying, “I’ll ask…” or “I’ll transfer…”, You can say, “I’m asking,” or “I’m transferring.” These forms are better to use because they remove any feeling of uncertainty to the customers, giving a sense of urgency that your customers need.

It shows them that you’re actively working on their problems, and that’s always a good idea if you want to receive excellent feedback.

You have the right to be upset.

Uh-oh. Does this mean that you have to give up the “perfect image” of your business? Does this mean that you admit that you committed a mistake? 

Well, yes.

When a customer takes the effort and time to talk to your support team, they cannot get the most out of your product or service. Saying this or something along these lines will show compassion to your customers.

This will also make it easier to release all the tension and have a better conversation with your customers.

Forget about the fear, Focus on helping your customers.

We hear you, facing an angry customer is always a difficult situation. The fear of failing them and losing them is still in your head. But you have to remember that this situation is always a part of running a business.

Instead of dreading the consequences, focus on how to make every interaction right. You don’t have to provide a solution to fix the issue immediately; you just have to be with the customer to resolve their problems.

Listen genuinely and then take the necessary steps from there to correctly determine the concerns of the customers.

When the next angry customer shows up and the question, “What would you say to an angry customer?” starts appearing in your mind, remember the advice and tips we have provided for you.

Toss the fears out and start making things right.

Roland Francis Dacillo
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