5 Tips for Dealing with An Angry Customer (The Right Way!)
It’s any customer-facing team’s worst nightmare – an angry customer. No matter the business, a frustrated customer creates a difficult situation for your team. Are you wondering how to transform a shaky customer encounter into positive resolution? Read on to learn 5 tips that will help you manage an angry customer and recover from difficult interactions.
Tip 1: Stay Calm and Carry On
There’s little doubt that word choice and tone can influence your customer interactions. In fact, a 1967 study by Albert Mehrabian developed the “7% – 38% – 55% Rule.” The rule determined that communication is made up of three parts:
- Your Words Used 7%
- Your Tone of Voice 38%
- Your Body Language 55%
When dealing with a difficult customer, remember that your initial reaction is just as important as your solution. An anxious or uncertain tone can rile up a customer. Likewise, improper word choice can create communication gaps that add to a customer’s frustration. It’s not just about what you say, but rather how you say it.
By remaining calm and collected, you will be better equipped to provide the stability your customer seeks. By not taking your customer’s frustration personally, you can focus on keeping your communication concise and effective.
Tip 2. Validate Your Customer Concerns
If the customer wasn’t angry, they probably wouldn’t care. And a customer that doesn’t care is a customer that is likely to churn.
Remember that as a Customer Success professional your goals are aligned – both you and your customer want to drive value out of your product. Communicate an understanding of why your customer is upset – when possible identify with what they are going through. Just remember – you’re not necessarily accepting blame or apologizing. You are rather validating their concerns and displaying empathy. A high functioning Customer Success team not only proves itself by solving difficult issues, but by validating the reasons why the customer chose to do business with them in the first place.
Tip 3. Map Out Your Customer Journey (and Account for Detours!)
A Customer’s Journey often takes unexpected detours throughout their lifecycle. When encountering a situation that has the potential to change the customer’s path, be sure to share updates and manage expectations.
For a frustrated customer, one of the most difficult obstacles is dealing with the unknown. When it comes to an implementation schedule or other important deadlines, a lack of forward-facing visibility can be scary. By continuously mapping out your customer journey and accounting for last minute changes, your CS team will better manage their customer relationships. Your customer should always know their path to success and next steps – regardless of any bumps in the road.
Tip 4. Emphasize Active Listening
Active listening is key to building trust, especially when dealing with an upset customer. Close those open browser tabs and put away your phone! When you’re fully present in the moment, a customer will notice your engaged presence in the conversation. Similarly, customers who raise concerns sometimes feel that they lack a voice. By listening to your customer and paraphrasing their important key points, your customer will be assured that they are indeed being heard out.
Besides its ability to de-escalate interactions, active listening enables you to better pickup on subtle cues. What seemed like a minor issue could rather signal a larger challenge. Keep an eye out for any hints, comments or language that may indicate your customer’s health is slipping.
Tip 5. Encourage Selfcare
Selfcare is often an afterthought when it comes to dealing with angry customers. As someone that serves on the front lines of customer interactions, some days are more difficult than others. While often overlooked, self-care pays dividends both in and out of the workplace. A happy, clear headed and productive employee is an employee that is equipped to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Don’t be afraid to take a walk between calls or catch a breath of fresh air. An overworked and exhausted team will have difficulties exceeding customer expectations. Encouraging vacation breaks, setting boundaries and practicing mindfulness are just a few ways to build a team that is sustainable for the long term.
By promoting self-care your team is doing something that is not only good for your employees, but also for your business. After all, you must take care of yourself if you plan to take care of others.
Looking for more tips on how energize your Customer Success Function? Subscribe to our Fighting Churn Newsletter for more ideas and inspiration on retaining your customers.
Blog Author: Alex Weihmann
How to Keep the Revenue Your Company Worked So Hard to Earn
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
Speaker: Kia Puhm, Founder & CEO, DesiredPath Inc.
Companies work hard to attract and win their customers. They spend countless hours establishing key performance metrics and enforcing the appropriate disciplines so their marketing and sales teams can bring in leads and close deals to drive revenue and growth. Yet the amount of focus that leadership places on new business revenue is disproportionate to the amount of focus placed on existing customer revenue. After the dotted line has been signed, all of sales’ and marketing’s effort is for naught if the revenue is going out the door just as quickly as it came in.
A widespread obsession with customer acquisition leaves companies blind to the pool of revenue opportunity within customer retention. Simply, it’s much easier to turn a customer into a bigger customer than it is to turn a lead into a new customer. And yet …
This session will define “the customer funnel” and help attendees, for the first time, measure and monitor revenue across the entire customer lifecycle in order to keep the revenue they worked so hard to earn.
Attendees of this webinar will learn how to:
- Use the customer journey as the desired path to success
- Build an intelligent framework that aligns your business to your customer’s
- Use industry-first metrics to measure how effectively your company is managing customer journeys
Customer Success Around the Web
- 11 Proven Strategies to Reduce Your Customer Churn Rate – Learn from the experts proven strategies to reduce your churn.
- The Classic NPS Question (& How to Tweak It) – Learn how to craft the perfect Net Promoter Score survey for your customer feedback.
- 3 Ways for SaaS Companies to Reduce Churn with Live Chat – See how live chat can help keep your customer churn to a minimum.
Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero.
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