Dealing with angry customers at workplace

Posted on: October 4, 2008

Angry and difficult customers need to be tackled with a lot of patience and tolerance. They can sometimes drive you up the wall and re major cause of workplace stress and anger. They can hog up a huge amount of your time and resources of the organization. A customer usually blows off his/her steam when his/her problem is not acknowledged. Apart form getting the problem fixed, they also like to be heard, listened to and need to vent out their emotional and upset state.

When confronted with an angry customer, first identify and focus on the customer’s upset and irritated state. Once his/her feelings have been recognized and acknowledged and he starts to calm down, than shift your focus in solving the problem. This will help you to save a lot of time and energy at work. Research shows that if you deal with angry and difficult customers with confidence and competence, 6 out of 10 of these customers will stay in business with your company. A customer can either make or break the company so be careful not to catch a customer’s anger. If you react impulsively and attack back in the same way, the anger spiral will never end. Deal with it by not taking it personally or feel offended. A bee is expected to sting and a shark is expected to attack.

When an angry customer is letting off his/her steam through the escape valves, don’t interrupt with justifications and excuses. Let them talk till the fire simmers and then start explaining the consequences of the situation. If the customer continues to blabber in anger, make an excuse to leave. Take a break and evaluate the situation. By buying time, you are allowing yourself to consider the situation and then come up with a viable solution that favors the customer as well as the company.

Carlos Todd, LPC
President, Conflict Coaching and Consulting, PLLC
10130 Mallard Creek Rd Ste 300
Charlotte, NC 28262.
Phone: 704-804-0841
Fax: 877-202-5901


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