Man Leaving a Voice Message

This is a guest post by Stefanie Amini, Marketing Director at WalkMe.

In a perfect world, all customers would be content and satisfied. In reality, you will come across customers who are angry, upset, and frustrated. As a small business owner, it's pretty important to learn how to handle this anger. If you can’t handle dissatisfaction, you’re bound to lose customers and get even more complaints.

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to cope with angry customers so they keep using your services and gush about your support!

Here are 5 tips for dealing with angry customers:

1. Understand that Customers Have The Right to be Angry

Even if you don’t agree with your customer, they’re the one paying you, and they have a right to be upset if they’re not satisfied. Maybe they aren’t getting what they expected, are confused about prices, or have a warped perception about what your services actually do.

If you encounter an angry customer, give them space to vent their anger. Most of the time they just need to let it out. Everyone wants to feel like they’re being heard, so let them talk.

Sometimes, customers are going to be mad. Do your best to give them space to explain exactly why they feel the way they do. After they get it out, work with them to find solutions.

2. Avoid Getting Emotional

Sometimes customers raise their voices and say really nasty things. When this happens, it’s natural to get defensive—you’re only human! It’s tempting to raise your voice and scream about how irrational the customer is being, but this will only add fuel to the flames. Provide great customer service by staying calm and being rational.

Even though a customer may seem to attack you directly, rather than the faulty product or unsatisfactory service, it helps to remember that there is nothing personal about the complaint. Angry customers aren’t attacking you as an individual. They don’t even know who you are. They simply want a resolution to their problem so do your best to give one to them.

3. Come Up With a Practical Solution

Sometimes, a customer will have a complaint that seems a little ridiculous. For instance, a customer who does not know how to operate a device could swear that you sold them a faulty product. Instead of laughing at them, have the heart to empathize. Explain how to operate the product and they will thank you for it.

If you are unable to come up with a practical solution yourself, do not be afraid to consult someone who can. Remember that angry customers will be willing to do business with you again if they feel their complaints have been properly handled.

Do not forget to follow up with the customer either. Give them a call a few days later and ask them whether or not they feel their problem was adequately addressed.

4. Know Your Product and Company Inside and Out

Customers expect that those answering the phone will have a solid grasp on their company's products and services, but sometimes agents and business owners aren't informed or trained. If you and your employees are not educated about your services, you're setting yourself up for disaster.

If a customer realizes that you don't know much about the product or service you're helping them with, they'll probably get even more frustrated, escalating the crisis.

It’s crucial you have thorough knowledge of the services you are supporting. You should be using the products and services in your own life. That way, you can answer any and all questions that customers have.

5. Add Self-Service Technologies

There are many self-service tools out there that may be perfectly suited to your customers' needs.  Chat boxes, call back services, support forums, and contact forms may complement your products better than a traditional call center.

Overall, customer service demands that you exercise patience of the utmost kind.  You must understand where the customer is coming from, and offer adequate empathy in order to make sure they don’t come back even angrier.

Have you ever dealt with an angry customer? If so, what are your strategies for learning to love dissatisfied customers? Please share!

Stefanie Amini

Stefanie Amini is the Marketing Director and Specialist in Customer Success at WalkMe, the world's first interactive online guidance system. She is chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Find her on Twitter @StefAmini.