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How to Deal with Angry Customers (According to Science) [Infographic]

How to Deal with Angry Customers (According to Science) [Infographic] Blog Feature

April 8th, 2018 min read

As the outward face of the company, a customer service representative (CSR) is one of the most important players on your sales team.

If those on the frontlines have poor judgement when it comes to working with the people that perform end-purchasing, even the most stellar business plan or innovative product can be undone.

Anyone who works with customers knows a single negative interaction with a client can overshadow the effects of even dozens of positive ones.

It’s the same on the receiving end. If you consider customer service experiences, chances are you recall the time a meal took forever, when it came out it was wrong, and the manager refused to apologize and spilled sauce on you, rather than the scores of times your dinner went without a hitch.

Why? Because great customer service is seamless and meant to look easy.

However, like a bad magic act, when the tricks fall flat, audiences start to walk out in droves, and the consequences of poor service do not end with just one disappointed client.

In the era of social media and online reviews, a single frustrated person can plaster the internet with rants that cripples your business.

While it’s impossible to provide utterly flawless service (accidents happen), there are protocols you can put in place to make sure customer service representatives know how to face a disgruntled patron and diffuse a tense situation.

Usually an angry client just wants to be heard and therefore taking an objective and competent stance is always crucial. Service representatives should listen first and avoid being defensive or feeling personally attacked.

How many customer service calls begin with an angry client? Research demonstrates that 56% of people admit to losing their temper with customer service representatives.

Classic methods to calm someone in this type of distress include using their name often in your replies or actually apologizing for a situation. It’s important to offer an apology and not an excuse. In fact, 75% of customers want to hear an apology, but only 28% actually get them.

Also, in many situations a customer service representative should be careful not to admit culpability if it might be a potential liability.  

For example if a customer falls on a stair, something like, “I’m so sorry, we’ve been meaning to get that fixed” opens up grounds for litigation.

Ultimately, while angry customers can be testing, there are many ways to successfully quell those who initially lose their temper and turn negative experiences into positive ones.

Consider the techniques outlined in the infographic from Siege Media below. Armed with this information customer service representatives can face the next bad-tempered client with confidence and a plan in place.


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