It’s hard not to jump into some negative emotion of your own when someone else is angry.
Fear, guilt, anger, and defensiveness may arise within you.
But what if you saw angry customers not as a nuisance, but as the gateway to an incredible opportunity?
Not that you’re just trying to get money out of your customers.
But this is your opportunity to solve their problem in a meaningful way that transforms them into a lifelong customer (instead of an enemy).
And they’ll spread the word to their friends, family, and coworkers when you do.
So, what should you do to make that angry customer do a complete 180?
Here’s a simple approach:
1. Apologize for the Specific Inconvenience
Don’t just say “I apologize for the inconvenience.”
That’s robotic. Your customers have heard it a thousand times. You’re not really doing anything to move the relationship in a positive direction with that statement.
Apologize instead for the specific problem you caused, such as,”I’m sorry your purchase arrived with scratches on it.”
This shows you’re understanding your customer’s situation. They’re feeling heard. It inspires them to calm down (at least a little anyway).
2. Communicate Your Understanding of the Customer’s Problem
With that brief acknowledgement taken care of, it’s now time to go in-depth to make sure you fully understand your customer’s problem.
So, something along these lines helps:
“So your product arrived late and scratched. It’s not in good condition like it should be. Am I correct? Did I miss anything?”
Here, you’re simply amplifying what you just said, making sure you have all the details of your customer’s experience.
You’re also giving them the opportunity to add in some details if you missed anything.
That gives them even a stronger sense that you’ve heard what they said, and that you care to resolve their problem.
Now that you have a full and accurate understanding of their situation, you can proceed with a resolution.
Plus, your customer should be calm by now.
When they know you understand their situation, they feel cared for and have greater confidence that you’ll give them a fair resolution.
3. Now’s Your Time to Wow Your Customer
With a full and accurate understanding of your customer’s situation, you can now shock them with unforgettable service.
A standard solution for the above scenario might be to simply offer a replacement product at no charge.
Simply top that to get a “wow” response from your customer.
Replace the product. Then give them a credit for another product of the same value too.
…Or whatever an appropriate action would be.
Congratulations! You’ve now turned that once-irate customer into your number one fan.
You can’t do this for every customer. But when you encounter particularly rough situations, this can be the way to hit a home run.
And stories like this spread far and wide when they happen.