70% of the customer journey depends on how the customer feels and is treated by the brand. Every now and then you’ll have a customer with a bee in their bonnet, and how you interact with them can have a huge impact on your customer and yourself. These emotions are tied to external situations and psychological stimuli. So, put your great communication skills to work, draw on your superpower of reading the situation, and use these seven psychological tips for managing difficult customers to save your customer from churning.
The basic point is to understand how to deal with them. These are some of the ways you can handle an angry customer;-
1. Remain calm.
In situations when a customer is angry, our first natural reaction is usually the first thing that goes wrong. Our brain perceives an angry customer as a threat and enters into a stress and defense mode fight or flight. This is exactly when we have to take control of our minds. Throwing a punch at the customer would not make things better for anyone.
Instead, take a second to breathe and process what your customer is actually saying. In most cases, you’ll hear between the angry words that the customer is struggling or frustrated with your product or service, to the point where they have to take it out on somebody. Understand that everyone is human and experiences moments of weakness, and don’t take their anger personally or hold it against them.
2. Dig Deeper & Ask Questions
If a customer sends you an angry email or starts shouting at you on a phone call, it’s hard not to take that personally. You’ll likely instinctively feel a bristle of indignation and defensiveness as thoughts pop into your head of how wrong that customer is, how hard you work, and you’ll start to feel angry before you know it.
Complaints are insightful. You can know a lot about what you are missing if you know what your customer is trying to say in their complaints. To find the insight, use Socratic questions as it can help in finding the source that is causing friction.
Often the complaints are the pent-up problems that needed to be solved earlier. Asking the questions can help in understanding the problem from its root level. Remember to not cast any judgment at this stage. All you have to do is understand the details of the problem. It is a good way to handle the customer before you can actually move to a rational resolution.
3. Apologize for the situation.
Angry customers help you in knowing when to apologize and what to say to improve your relationship. It is important to remember that every time a customer has had to call your company helpline, it has failed them in some way or the other. Tendering an apology is not a weakness. It is, in fact, a sign of compassion.
An apology will help diffuse the situation quickly and open doors for resolution. An apology tells your customer that you regret them having to interrupt their day to make that call.
4. Reinstate trust and resolve the problem.
When you both agree and are now on the same page, it’s important to find the solution. Once you have managed to calm your customer down to a reasonable extent, only then should you start working on the resolution. Your focus when dealing with difficult customers is to resolve their issues and ensure their return patronage.
Now, you may not have made the error, your organization may not even be at fault, but if you’re handling the complaint you need to focus on the customer’s desired outcome.
Focus on the solution, knowing that if you can solve the problem, you stand a chance of getting them back as a repeat customer.
5. Express Gratitude For Bringing The Issue To Your Attention.
When your customer sounds angry and negative about a situation, thanking them for voicing their concern to you can go a long way toward building rapport with them. A simple thank-you to acknowledge their time and patience as you work to solve the issue will suffice.
6. Set Timer To Follow Up.
The goal of every support interaction needs to be more than just solving the problem at hand. The actual measure of success is whether you have been able to preserve the investment you’ve made in the customer.
Some issues need more attention from other people in the business. It can be asking the manager or talking to the product team etc. Such a solution can be done over one call. In such conditions, let your customer know that the process is going to take time and it’s not possible to do it over the phone. You can offer a timeline to them, so they can know you are looking for a solution too.