Dissatisfied customers are, unfortunately, a fact of business life, and you cannot run from facing customers who are angry about one thing or the other that went wrong with your product/service.
How you respond will determine whether the customer goes on to tell all his friends and family how terrible your business is, or instead rave about your business having awful customer service.
Here are tips for turning the situation around, especially in Nigeria:
1. Listen actively
The most important step in responding to an angry customer is to listen actively to what your client/customer is saying– they want to be heard, and want to air their grievances.
Start the dialogue with neutral statements such like, “Let’s go over what happened,” or “Please tell me why you’re upset.” This subtly creates a partnership between you and your client, and lets him/her know that you’re ready to listen.
2. Don’t argue
It is natural for upset customers to express their anger, but some customers can take things too far, and your reaction may be to defend yourself. However, for the sake of your business, you should never argue back. Maintain your integrity and be the better person.
If the customer tries abusing you verbally, let them know that you understand their frustration and that being rude will not solve their problem. Let the customer know that you are there to help, but you cannot do so until they calm down.
3. Be empathetic and apologize
Once you’re sure that you understand your client’s concerns, be empathetic. Show them you understand why they’re upset and make sure that your body language also communicates this understanding and empathy.
For example, you could say, “I understand why you’re upset. I would be too. I’m very sorry that we didn’t get the samples to you on time, especially since it’s caused these problems.”
4. Present a solution
Once you understand why the customer is unhappy, it is time to offer a solution.
If you feel that you know what will make your client happy, put forward your own fair and realistic answer to the problem. If you’re not sure you know what your client wants from you, or if they resist your proposed solution, then give them the power to resolve things. Ask them what they feel should be done or In most cases, that’s all the customer is looking for—and may result in providing some degree of satisfaction.
5. Take action and follow up
Once you’ve both agreed on a solution, you need to take action immediately. Explain every step that you’re going to take to fix the problem to your client.
Once the situation has been resolved, follow up with your client over the next few days to make sure that they’re happy with the resolution. Whenever you can, go above and beyond their expectations. For instance, you could give them a great discount on their next purchase.
How do you handle your customers when they get angry? Tell us in the comments!