Calming An Angry Or Upset Customer

Customer service professionals have to deal with a variety of customers day in and day out — ranging from the calm and polite to the slightly overbearing to the downright angry. It’s all part of the job, and it pays to be ready for all of the possibilities.

In the December issue of Customer Communicator, the training and motivation newsletter for frontline reps, communications consultant Nancy Friedman recommends a four-step technique for dealing with an angry or upset customer.

The first step, says Friedman, is to Acknowledge and Apologize.

“If the customer says that there is a problem you have to apologize quickly and sincerely,” says Friedman.

The most meaningful apology will be from the rep personally and will address the specific issue. For example, when a customer calls the day before Thanksgiving to say that their turkey-themed decorations haven’t arrived, the rep might say, “I’m so sorry your Thanksgiving decorations weren’t delivered on time . . .” Making the apology personal and specific helps the customer feel heard and valued.

More on calming difficult customers appears in the December issue of Customer Communicator.

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