Free Trial
  • Academy
  • How to handle customer complaints

How to handle customer complaints

So how do you deal with an angry customer (customer complaint)? A good first step is to realize that most of the time, the customer is feeling emotional because of various psychological triggers that are beyond their control. Understanding them is the first step toward solving their problems. Take time to calm yourself down and then use the following tips to turn an angry customer into a happy customer.

Remember that the whole reason you’re there is to give your customer what they want so they can walk away satisfied. Because of human nature, however, there will always be those times when the customer just isn’t satisfied or gets ticked off in some way or other.

In such instances, your response is everything. It can make your customer calm down, get satisfied, and walk away happy, or it can make them decide that it is the last time they will ever have dealings with your business.

1. Do not lose your calm

This is the most underrated step toward dealing with a customer complaint (angry customer). You’re not going to be much help to the customers if you’re angry yourself. You can only begin to approach their problem with a clear and calm mind in order to find a solution.

It’s very easy to get annoyed when a customer gets angry. Anger is such a natural emotion, and it’s very easy to fall prey to. However, you need to do everything in your power to control it and not let it take advantage of you.

Say a customer starts shouting, for example.

At first, you might take it personally and be defensive. Perhaps, you want to tell the customer how wrong they are to talk to you like that, or how hard you work. The anger can dwell inside of you.

During such times, a good move is to take a deep breath and take the time to actually listen to the customer. Try to understand what they’re saying. Behind all of those angry words is a message of the frustration and struggle the customer is dealing with. Perhaps, it has become so bad that they have found themselves taking it out on you.

The customer is a human, and understanding that little fact is the first step toward remaining calm in light of whatever they say to you while they are angry. Now that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate their behavior, but at least when you’re calm, you can smoothly escalate the manner to your manager. It’s hard for their anger to escalate when it is met with unperturbed calmness.

2. Be a good listener

Behind all angry rants is a desire to be heard; to be listened to. When you pay attention to the customer and what they are actually saying, you will start to hear the message behind all of those angry words.

What, exactly, is making the customer so angry? Is it a matter that can be resolved? If it is, then you can do more than just try to get the customer to calm down. You can take the steps toward solving their issue for them. Solving their problem will make them a lot more satisfied. When you do all of this calmly and politely, the customer will walk away feeling heard and helped and probably more than a little ashamed about their outburst. They might even be the ones to apologize to you!

3. Reflect the customer’s words back at them

A good trick you can use when listening to the customer is to repeat what they say back at them. This helps you to make sure you totally understand what message they’re trying to convey. You can’t make any assumptions here. Try paraphrasing what they’re saying and ask them if that’s what they mean.

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this what you’re saying?” – a good starter, before paraphrasing what they’re saying back to them.

Once you know you’re on the same page, it’s much easier to solve their issues. They’ll also feel heard.

4. Understand where the customer is coming from

When we’re angry, we’re rarely perfectly rational. We work according to some kind of mental heuristic at the time. We stop to objectively consider the facts at hand and resort to our own emotions to tell us how to deal with the situation. These emotions are determined by the problem, our mental state, and the particular situation we are in at the time. This is our effect, and it is like our internal mental algorithm that has been conditioned by past experience to react to situations in a particular way.

A customer might be angry about something because they’ve been in a similar situation before, and they never got any assistance. Thus, they might expect the same kind of treatment. A good approach would be to politely ask them why they’re angry so you can get at the bottom of the issue. Once you understand the cause of the anger, it’s much easier to solve their problem. Again, active listening is important here.

5. Thank the customer for informing you about the issue

When a customer is angry, you want to build rapport with them with HR software as quickly as possible. One effective way to do this is to thank them for raising the issue. Acknowledge their patience with you as you solve the issue and thank them for taking their time to tell you about it. It makes them realize that you’re on the same team here, and they tend to dial down the aggression. This is another great trick to resolve customer complaints, which I found really helpful while working for a writing service.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the rule prevails that the customer is always right. Seek to understand them and find a way to solve the customer complaint amicably. Always be sincere with the customer and don’t make any promises you can’t keep. You’ll not only solve their problem, but you might find that an angry customer that has walked away satisfied in the end tends to be the most loyal of them all.

Discover on your own

Knowledge is important, but only when put into practice. Test everything in our academy right inside the LiveAgent.

Try out LiveAgent for FREE

Handle all customer inquiries from one interface. Start improving your customer service with a 14-day free trial right away!

FREE TRIAL
Back to Academy

Our website uses cookies. By continuing we assume your permission to deploy cookies as detailed in our privacy and cookies policy.