How to Handle an Angry Customer

June 27, 2011
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No matter what business you’re in, sooner or later you’ll have to contend with an angry, complaining customer. A very small percentage of these will complain no matter how perfect the goods or services are that they’re purchasing. People like this feel a sense of entitlement and there’s little—if anything—you can do to appease them.

The vast majority of angry customers, however, think they have a legitimate beef with you. Right or wrong, however, their perception is what matters and you can treat them in one of two ways: they can be the problem, or they can be the catalyst that brings about a needed change. Of course, it would be easier to pass the irate customer on to someone else and just deal with people who like you, but that strategy will eventually backfire on you as each of those friendly customers will eventually become difficult customers as well. The reason for this is because neither you nor your company is perfect, and at some point you will make a mistake. It is how you deal with the mistake that will matter the most to your customers.

Dale Carnegie Training covers angry customers in depth in its courses. Angry customers are almost always angry because they feel like they have been wronged in some way. The product didn’t arrive at the time they thought it would, they were charged more than expected, the new delivery person was rude to them, or something else equally as bad.

Let’s take one of those scenarios and use it as an example. What would you do if you had an angry customer call you to say your delivery person was rude to them? Was the delivery person really rude? He might’ve been if he had an argument with his wife before leaving for work. Or perhaps he wasn’t rude at all and the customer took something the wrong way. The point is, it doesn’t matter. The customer perceived something as being rude and now you’ve got to fix it.

There is a very simple solution to this problem: Take the delivery guy off that route and give the customer someone else as well as a bonus perk to show that you really care and are sorry that this happened.

The key point is to remember to not get upset with the customer, or baby them. Treat them with respect and caring. Show that as much as they care about your company, by letting you know that something went wrong and giving you a chance to fix the problem, you care enough to fix the problem and show them you are glad that they are one of your customers.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of the Bay Area, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in the Bay Area. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

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One Response to How to Handle an Angry Customer

  1. tacticalsalestraining on July 12, 2011 at 8:06 am

    This course will provide all the background knowledge required to both identify, attract and engage potential customers.With a strong focus on improving sales conversion rates, the course is ideal for anyone wishing to take their sales expertise to the next level.

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