lion eyes

One day, you’re going about your work, feeling happy to have met your deadlines and enjoying a good level of self-confidence. Then, like a sucker punch, POW! comes an angry customer, undeniably irate with something you did or didn’t do.

Whether you’re a business owner or employee, we have all had those gut-wrenching moments trying to recall what went wrong and from where this infuriation emanated. Unfortunately, instances like these are a fact of the business world. However, these are some of the best ways to turn angry customers around.

Appreciate The Feedback

This sounds unrealistic, but it is true. Which client would you rather have? One who consistently praises your work, then leaves without a reason or one who cares enough to take the time to voice their opinions?

When a client no longer wants to deal with you, they won’t even give you a chance to get a word in. On the other hand, a customer who shares their unhappiness, no matter how negative, is giving you the opportunity to turn it around.

Try To Stay Positive

There isn’t enough money in the world to turn an attack into a pleasant feeling. At the same time, you don’t want to make an unpleasant situation even more explosive. Perhaps you put your heart and soul into a project and your client ends up hating it to its core.

You can argue until your lips crack, but that will leave you feeling weak and defeated. You want to feel empowered by refraining from engaging in any negative discourse. That is easier said than done, but it is imperative. Otherwise, your client will have even less of a reason to listen to you.

Listen

This goes without saying, but sometimes people just want someone to hear them out. Your client’s frustration may not even be about you. They might have vaguely communicated what they wanted, but they end up taking it out on you.

Listen to any inflections your client makes to determine the issues giving them the most discontent. If you are in person, make eye contact and don’t interrupt them. Assume they have the right to be angry and show them you are on their side.

Respond Softly

When you are in sales mode, you want to match your clients’ personas, even their pitch, at times. But, when they are in a heated frame of mind, one way to diffuse the situation is to respond softly and with a thoughtful touch. Keep your tone steady and patiently wait for your opening.

Even if you think the customer doesn’t care for what you have to say, keep in mind that they approached you in the first place. So, they do want to hear how you intend to respond. Ultimately, the customer wants to know how to resolve the situation.

Repeat the Issue

Before you can come up with a solution, you have to ensure you completely understand their complaint. Reiterate your client’s issues and ask them if you have fully comprehended the sources for their displeasure. It also helps to write them down.

Apologize Immediately

If the customer was rightfully upset, and you did make a mistake; apologize as soon as possible. Even on our best days, we all make mistakes. Customers understand that no one is perfect. The best way to overcome a slip up is to say you’re sorry quickly and sincerely.

Take Responsibility

Even if you are not directly to blame, you are the face of your business. In the customer’s eyes, you are at fault. Either way, you have to take responsibility.

It would be a waste of yours and your client’s time to explain all the ins and outs of your company and where the problem first took root. They don’t need to understand how many approvals you need to get just to get started on project or that your staff was cut in half.

Evaluate A Fix

Now that you have heard your client and repeated their issues, you need to figure out what you can do. Don’t worry about what you can’t do as that will only cause delay. Even if you can only offer a partial solution, that is better than doing nothing and waiting until you can provide a complete resolution.

Show your client that you have sprung into action, and you are working to accommodate their requests. If the client is in the wrong, you can still determine how to address them and their issue.

Follow Up

Once you have amended the situation, and time has passed, you still want to stay in contact with your client. Ask them if they are satisfied and how you can keep this from happening again in the future. Give them a significant role in offering suggestions.

You can do this a couple of weeks or a month after you have taken care of the conflict. This shows your client that you are willing and able to address their issues. It also helps to rebuild your tainted relationship.

Perform an Audit

You want to have the ability to pinpoint any bottlenecks that may cause client predicaments in the future. You might look into how to improve your lines of communication. It might also help to look at how you coordinate your work schedule.

On the other hand, if you have a client who complains on a consistent basis, sometimes it might be best to part ways. It is important to track how the client responds to your work and how much time you spend responding to their grievances. For example, does it take time away from the work you perform for other clients?

Furthermore, if the client does criticize often, is there something you can change? Have you been following their instructions or do they simply have a grumpy personality? You can change the former, but you usually can’t change the latter.

When you listen, correct and follow through, this shows your client that you want their business. More than likely, they will give you another chance or several to work with them. What about you, what’s your best tip for dealing with an angry customer?