In this article, you’ll get 6 tested ways to get angry customers to back down. These are strategies that have been proven how effective they are for getting irate customers to back down.
#1 Apologize – An apology makes the angry customer feel heard and understood. It diffuses anger and it allows you to begin to re-establish trust. Studies have found that the mere act of apologizing has reduced lawsuits, settlement and some casualties.
You need to apologize to customers irrespective of the issue. Certainly, the apology needs to be carefully worded. Here is an example of a sincere, yet a careful apology:
“Please accept my sincere and unreserved apology for any inconvenience this may have caused you.”
#2 K**l them softly with Diplomacy – This simple phrase has never failed me “Clearly, we’ve upset you and I want you to know that getting to the bottom of this is just as important to me as it is to you.”
When you say this, anger begins to disappear. You’ve addressed the anger directly and non defensively. And you haven’t been put into the drama of the attack.
#3 Go into computer mode – To take on the computer method, you take on the procedures of a computer. Speak generally without emotion and you don’t take the bait your angry or difficult customer is pitching you. Your words, quality, and attitude are completely impersonal and neutral.
Think of the automated response system used between your car, your wireless company or bank. This computer mode response defects, diffuses, and disarms angry customers. This works because you don’t add fuel to the fire by giving your difficult customer what they want – and that is an emotional reaction.
When you take the bait, your difficult customer is forced to raise a red flag against your company or business. Here is an illustration of a computer method.
Let’s say your customer says “you don’t give a damn to customers” once you get such response from a customer; the service aspect is over. While it may be tempting to fuel the fire with an equally harsh response such as: “what’s your problem” Don’t take the bait, because if you do, the situation will only escalate and nothing productive will come out as a result.
A computer response might look like one of these statements: People get irritated when they don’t immediately get the help they desire. It’s very irritating to experience a delay in service response.
Nothing is more distressing than feeling like you’re being passed around when all you want is help. And then, you stop like a laptop computer. No matter how uncomfortable the verbal abuse is or how ridiculous it becomes; continue to respond without emotion.
This tactic works because of its neutral; it doesn’t take the bait and because it is unexpected. The tough customer wants to fling you off; making you lose control and then get you to respond expressively. When you fail to fall into this trap, you will actually regain control. Go into a computer mode the next time you run into verbal abuses from an irate customer, and I promise, you will quickly regain control and you’ll have fun with the process.
#4 Give this question a shout “Have I done something personally; to upset you? I’ll like to be a part of the solution” – Of course you know you haven’t done anything to upset the customer, you asked his question to force the angry customer to ponder about his act. Often, simply asking of this question is not to get the ballistic customer to begin to shoot from the right point to the left point while he can begin to listen and rationalize.
#5 Show Empathy – Empathy can be a powerful tool used to disarm an angry customer and show that you genuinely care about the inconvenience that the customer has experienced.
Expressing empathy is also good for you as it helps you truly begin to see the problem from the view of the customer. AND this view will help keep you from loosing your cool when your customer is heated up. By letting your customers know that you realize why they are upset, you build the bridge between you and them.
Here are some phrases that express empathy: “that must have been very unsatisfying for you.” “I understand the delay, what you encountered was an inconvenience.” “If I were in your shoe, I’m sure I’d feel the same way; just like you.” “It must have been very annoying for you to have waited days for your order and for that; I apologize.”
#6 Show appreciation for the difficult customer’s feedback – After your customer’s issue is resolved; you can regain control of the conversation. Interject to thank the customer for taking the time to give his or her comment. Here are a few expressions you might try: “Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.” “Thanks for being so open.” “We cherish customers who take out time to let us know our faults.”
The reason this tip works effectively is because, the last thing your irate customer expects is for you to respond with kindness and thankfulness. It’s a surprise issue. Often, you find that your customer is stunted; silence, and this is exactly what you want. When the customer is stunted into silent; you get in the driver seat and you steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go.
When next you are targeted with verbal abuses; deploy these principles and you will create calm, maintain control and I promise you, you will be far more effective in the quality of your customer service delivery.