In the world of sales, few things are more frustrating than dealing with angry clients. It’s a terrible situation to be put into: emotions are high on both sides, but you don’t have the luxury of reacting however you want. “7 Tips on How to Handle Angry Customers Without Losing Your Cool,” by Chris Frascella offers advice on how to get through these seemingly impossible situations with your business relationship still in one piece.
- Keep Your Cool
No matter what, do NOT be responsible for continuing your client’s negative feelings. This includes defending yourself. Your client didn’t contact you to hear about how the problem at hand was an accident or wasn’t your fault; he reached out to you because he just wants his problem solved. Be the bigger person: listen to your client without interrupting. Give him a chance to get his anger out and let him know that you care about his problem enough to listen to his whole tirade.
- Tread Lightly
Even after your client gets done with his rant, he’ll still be in offense mode until his problem is solved. Because of this, the way you word your response is extremely important, especially if the conversation is happening in person or over the phone. Your client will be looking for even the slightest hint of anger, a lack of empathy or, even worse, sarcasm in your response. Remain calm, keep your voice even and stick to the facts of what will happen next.
- Fix it Fast
Don’t just apologize, solve the problem. ASAP. In fact, your apology should include the opportunity to receive feedback from your client on how he feels you can solve the issue at hand. Also, get your client involved in the problem-solving process so there won’t be any doubt that you are doing everything you can to fix things.
- Sort Out Your Anger
After the interaction, take the time to work out your own stress. Whether or not you end the conversation with your client on a positive note, there is bound to be some residual frustration pent up inside you. Eat something, vent to a coworker, blast some angry music in your headphones, whatever you need to do to get the last of those negative feelings out, do it. If you don’t, you may be put back in the same situation you just got out of, only the roles will be reversed and you may be rude to someone you cannot afford to be rude to, like an important client or your boss.