You need your customers; they are the lifeblood of your business, and you want them to be satisfied with the products and services that you offer. Unfortunately, try as you may to achieve total and quality customer satisfaction, you’ll find that the very thing that excited many of your customers, or made them very happy, will be the thing that some of your customers are irritated by or unhappy with. You may find yourself dealing with angry customers.
It can be discouraging and irritating for you the business owner. How will you react when customers slam you with criticism and speak disparagingly of your programs – products, services, or you as the business owner? The following are five tips to help you stay in control:
1.Wait five seconds before responding
Responding immediately when dealing with angry customers could result in you saying something you’ll later regret. Before you respond, take a deep breath, wait at least five seconds, and think about the best response and the best approach.
2. Speak more slowly and in a lower tone
Tension will tighten your vocal chords and cause your voice to come out at a higher pitch. As soon as you speak in a higher pitched voice, it suggests that you are losing control.
You’ll be amazed at how much more clearly you can think and how much control and confidence you experience when you consciously slow down your rate of speech.
Speak slowly and methodically when your emotional triggers are launched and you’ll maintain poise during difficult conversations. In additional to the psychological effect this has on you personally, you’re also conveying to your angry customer that you are listening and your goal is still quality customer satisfaction. You’re not allowing their negative comments and emotions to get the better of you.
3. Be assertive – not aggressive or passive
This means, “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t be mean when you say it.” Let this rule guide your conversations with all customers and you will always be confident, cool, and in control AND you’ll always be professional.
4. Take a time-out
When you sense that your buttons have been pushed, take a break. You can tell the customer you need to put him on hold while you review a file, or whatever excuse sounds good at the time. The point is to get away for a few seconds when dealing with angry customers so you can re-group.
5. Use positive self-talk
Say something positive to yourself about the person or try to be empathetic. Thinking more positively helps you respond more positively and professionally. Negative thoughts lead to negative words, and it spirals into a very negative situation.
Of course, I will always include saying a quick prayer for patience and the ability to show self-control and say the correct things to calm the customer.
We need our customers, but it’s important to recognize that as in any relationship, there should be mutual respect. By taking the difficult step of striving for quality customer satisfaction when dealing with angry customers can often lead to your critic becoming your advocate.