9 Right Things to Do when Chatting with Angry Customers

Customers will complain and contact your business when they are angry or frustrated. It is important to teach chat agents how to chat with angry customers to diffuse the situation before it escalates into a reputation nightmare.

Let Angry Customers Have Their Say

When a customer comes online to chat and they are angry, it is best to let them explain the situation without interjecting.

The chat agent shouldn’t dismiss the customer’s problem as trivial or react to the person’s anger.

Moreover, the agent shouldn’t try to fix the problem without acknowledging the customer’s feelings first.

Often once the customer has vented a little, they feel calmer and the agent can then work on fixing the problem the person has.

Use Their Name

It is important to include the customer’s name throughout the chat. This proves the agent is acknowledging them as a valuable person and that the customer is dealing with a live human on the other end.

If you say something like “Thank you, Steven, for making us aware of the situation”, it shows the customer you appreciate their business and care about customer satisfaction.

Even if you use canned messages, agents should include the customer’s name before they send the text. It is possible for agents to include canned messages into a text bar and then edit it before sending it to a visitor.

Don’t Engage Angry Customers on Live Chat

It is important for chat agents to remember that the anger the customer is expressing is due to the situation.

The person isn’t directing it at the agent on the other end of the chat. Also, the person may not think before they send the text message so they may say something hurtful without intending it to be taken that way.

When chat agents react to the anger expressed by the customer it isn’t productive and can lead to more problems.

When an agent sends an angry message in a chat because they took the communication from the customer personally, it can escalate the situation beyond where the agent can remedy the problem.

The company may lose the customer and when the person talks about their experience, it will hurt the business’ reputation.

Chat agents must be very careful when crafting responses during an angry chat. Tone can be misconstrued in a written conversation so the operator must not send any text that could be interpreted as anger, resent, sarcasm or condescension.

Understand What the Customer Really Wants

During a conversation with an angry customer, the chat agent needs to cut through the anger and bluster to determine what the customer is really looking for.

It can be something as simple as an apology, a free upgrade to resolve the problem, or a discount on their bill. Sometimes the customer is looking for nothing more than just having the issue fixed quickly and efficiently.

The chat operator shouldn’t just offering free items or a discount until he knows what resolution the customer is looking for. Offering things at random will only frustrate the customer because the customer service agent isn’t serving the customer’s needs.

Often looking through the customer history, prior chats, and notes made by other chat agents can help provide insight into what the customer wants to resolve the situations.

In addition, experience handling similar situations with other customers can be useful in determining the best resolution.

If the agent handling the angry customer doesn’t have experience handling this type of complaint, they can ask other agents and the manager within the live chat monitor for assistance.

If the customer service agent doesn’t think they can resolve the call, they can pass the chat to a more experienced agent within the monitor.

If the Company Screwed Up Say So

Admitting mistakes proves the company is human and will help the customer to be more willing to forgive.

It is when companies tried to hide their mistakes and refuse to accept responsibility that must customers leave a company.

It is important for your company to have a policy in place on how to handle product recalls, software issues and other types of companywide problems that may arise.

This way a chat agent can handle angry customers quickly, supply them with the information the customer needs and let the customer know what can be done to rectify the situation.

The customer is always right policy doesn’t always work. Sometimes a customer isn’t always right or they try to take advantage of the situation by asking for valuable products or a high amount of money to compensate them for the frustration they experienced.

Let operators know how far they can go to satisfy a customer. If the customer demands something the agent can’t provide, have them transfer the chat to a manager so the supervisor can handle the situation.

Reply in Time to an Angry Customer

When a customer initiates a live chat and they express their anger or frustration in the message, chat operators need to make sure to pick up that chat immediately.

Don’t leave the customer in the queue or finish your current chat before replaying to an angry customer. This will only aggravate the customer further and may frustrate him to the point where he may leave the chat.

If you lose an angry customer on a live chat, you most likely have lost him forever.

Don’t Leave a Chat Unanswered

Most live chat operators handle concurrent chats, which can mean that there is a delay from the time when a customer asks a question to the time when an operator response.

This ability to multi-task increases the efficiency of customer service departments; however, special care must be taken when working with an angry customer.

If an operator is working with two customers simultaneously, they need to make sure they respond promptly to the messages sent by an angry customer.

A quick response helps to diffuse a tense situation and shows the customer that the operator is taking the matter seriously.

Avoid Spelling and Grammar Errors

Spelling and grammar errors look unprofessional. When you are teaching live chat operators how to chat with angry customer, you want to make sure they use all of the tools your live chat service offers to make their messages look well thought out and professional.

Canned messages are a great way to ensure a quick response to a customer that is grammatically correct.

Some live chat software also offers a spell check option so the operator can check their message before they send it. This way you won’t further irritate an upset customer with ridiculous errors.

Emoticons Can Diffuse an Angry Customer

It is often difficult to convey emotion in live chat. Emoticons are a great way to let the customer understand you empathize with them and the comic relief can help diffuse a tense situation.

The careful use of emoticons can help your chat operator turn an angry customer into someone who is ready to work with the company to solve their problem.

Angry customers are a part of doing business. Some customers have a legitimate reason for being angry while others may not.

Training chat agents to listen to customers use the customer’s name during the chat and resist the urge to engage the customer will allow the chat agent to diffuse the situation.

Once the angry customer feels calmer, the agent can then determine what the customer really wants, admit the company made a mistake, and resolve the chat.

Read more: Mitigating the Wait Frustration in Customer Service