Manish Bhatia

Martin Luther King once said, “Hatred begets hatred”.

He moved on to say that we must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.

This holds true even in the case of customer-relationships. You simply cannot behave rudely with an angry customer unless you want them to walk out the door.

Most of us get personally offended when a customer is rude. Many of us do not know how to deal with an angry customer. I am going to share the first two crucial steps to diffuse a heated situation with an angry customer.

  • Keep Calm and Breathe

You may have heard or read this quote that ‘the customer is always right’. Although we know how this is not literally true in every case, I would advise reading between the lines. The customer is surely experiencing some kind of difficulty, challenge, or grievance that you have not yet addressed. We all know what happens when we don’t save a stitch in time. So, when a customer is angry or refuses to listen to you, keep calm and do not raise your voice. Actively listen to what the customer is saying and only once the customer has stopped talking, wait a few seconds to respond calmly. If you interrupt the customer while they are speaking angrily, this will turn into an argument with so solution.

  • Use Your Words Wisely

In order to help the customer understand that you are on their side, use the words they are using. For example, the customer says, “First of all, we are already delayed because I give one small correction and your editor takes an entire day to send a revised video. After this, I see that the editor has still not done as I instructed and has instead done it his way.”

Your response could be, “I can see how this is causing a further delay in the project. Let me work out a timeline with my editor to ensure that you get the final modified video on time.” Note that you are going to use the words said by the customer. This helps the customer identify that you do recognize and are well aware of their complaint. However, do not use words that they have not mentioned even though you know that they have felt it. For example, do not say, “I can see why you may be frustrated about this but…” This only makes it worse by allowing the customer to further respond in a frustrated manner.

There are more ways to learn how to deal with an angry customer. This is a part of soft skills training which can help you turn a bad situation into an opportunity.

I hope these first two crucial steps will help you diffuse those heated situations to deal with an angry customer.

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