No business can survive without customers. Thus high quality of customer service is as important as high quality of the products you provide. It’s obvious that failing your customers, no matter how difficult they are, can lose your company a great deal of business.
However, sometimes we deal with customers who act like they were sent from hell and their main purpose is to make customer service team frustrated, worked up and empty. As a customer service manager I have been dealing with angry customers for many years. They don’t want to act like that, but due to some circumstances they do this. Let’s find out why!
Cindy is just complaining, she is not angry yet. She just asks you to help her with the issue. Though she is annoyed, as many of us would be in her situation, she is not fuming and will appreciate your solution. In this situation you need to do your best to solve her case quickly. If she notices you are unsure or act not as fast as she expects, she will become angry and fuming. Here are a few tips which will help to deal with Cindy:
- Describe her in details what you will do to make everything OK.
- Don’t hesitate and keep your cool.
- Tell Cindy when her issue will be resolved and strictly stick to those dates.
- Follow up and tell Cindy about the progress
Aggressive and demanding Andy
Today Andy is in bad mood and unfortunately faced some issue. This made things even worse. In general, Andy does not like arguing. However, today he decided to contact support to have his issue fixed and to express his anger to anyone who will listen. He is also very demanding and knows exactly what he wants. The question is if you can deliver that.
Dealing with such type of customers can be really difficult. You do not want to lose them but at the same time you are not sure how to meet their requirements. In addition, they are angry and fuming from the very beginning of your conversation. Let’s try to find the best solution for Andy:
- Do not respond to aggressiveness with high emotions.
- Try to understand the reason of frustration and wait for Andy to regain his composure.
- Apologize and offer a solution.
- Never transfer Andy to a different representative or supervisor. You can invite that person to join your conversation if you cannot solve Andy’s issue yourself. But don’t make Andy explaining everything from the very beginning.
- Try to find a compromise. If you do not let Andy know that you are going the extra mile to meet his requests, next time he will be more demanding as he will not realize how hard it was for you to arrange everything.
Meet Samantha. She knows exactly what she wants but for some reason has no desire to explain this or just supposes you can read her mind. At the beginning of your conversation she will provide some information but this will not be enough for you to understand the issue. This situation is quite difficult. You may spoil everything if you start solving the issue you do not understand enough or talk to Samantha rudely. Here are a couple of tips for dealing with Samantha:
- Customers like Samantha don’t always realize they are too vague. If Samantha has not provided enough information for you from the beginning, handle this by getting more specific and asking clarifying questions.
- Give her options to choose from.
- Do not get impatient or rude. Samantha will not understand why you behave that way and will become frustrated.
Customers do not like waiting. However, Ian does not care that you may have other customers to take care of or need some time to investigate and troubleshoot the issue. He just wants to have his issue resolved as soon as possible and move on with his life. What will be the best way to help Ian?
- Even if Ian sounds rude, this does not mean he wants to behave like that. Do not let his impatience mislead you.
- Explain why things are not moving as fast as he would like to.
- Assure Ian that you appreciate his patience and will try to find the solution as soon as possible.
- Invite your co-worker to assist you if this helps to find the solution faster. Ian will appreciate your desire to meet his expectations.
Though dealing with angry customers is always a challenge for any team, this on the other hand strengthen customer service skills while retaining valuable business. Look at this like at an opportunity which allows you to improve and become a customer service super hero. You are welcome to share your experience in comments to this blog post.
Olga is a customer service expert and owner at Supportyourcustomer.com. She is writer and blogger on customer service and customer experience excellence.