As you know, the angry customer is an everyday situation in any contact center, whatever the sector and size of the company. Therefore, in this article we will analyze the different types of angry customers and wich are the best strategies to approach them.
The dangers of an angry customer
Without a doubt, any angry customer can pose a risk to the company, both in terms of loyalty (in terms of that specific user) and the reputation of the company (more broadly).
Therefore, knowing how to handle these types of situations in an appropriate way is crucial. If angry customers receive impeccable attention and manage to solve their problems optimally, not only will they remain loyal to the company, but they may even become prescribers.
General recommendations for angry customer service
Before focusing on the different specific types of angry customers, it may be interesting to refer to some general recommendations to keep in mind in the contact center:
- Knowing how to listen empathically: Without a doubt, an angry customer (like any other customer) wants to feel heard. Therefore, it is important that the agent does not interrupt the client’s speech (whether or not he is right). Furthermore, the listening process should not be aseptic and passive; it’s about showing empathy toward the customer’s problem, as well as sincere concern about solving it. Small demonstrations of assent and understanding can reassure the user and help calm her speech.
- Fulfill the commitments: On one hand, the agent must not promise anything that he cannot fulfill and, on the other, he must ensure that the solutions he proposed to the client are carried out properly. Otherwise, the customer’s anger will be much greater.
- Calm and self-control: The agent must at all times show her professionalism and not use the same tone as angry clients. Without a doubt, one of the best ways to calm the user is to respond with a slow and understanding tone. Conversely, raising your voice or using expressions like “calm down” can make the situation worse. Contact center workers must keep in mind at all times that the customer’s words are not directed against them: it is not personal.
Angry customer: main types and strategies
As you know, not all angry customers are the same. Each one has a different personality and different motives. We could say that each client gets angry in their own way.
Therefore, although the general strategies we have mentioned can be applied to all cases, there are specific ways of dealing with different types of angry customer:
1. The justly angry customer
Sure, there are times when customers have every reason in the world to be angry. Given this, the company must immediately recognize it, apologize and offer appropriate solutions.
If necessary, the agent must notify the corresponding superior and start the corresponding repair procedure.
All this should always be accompanied by words of understanding and empathy towards the fairness of the complaint, informing the client at all times of the next steps to take.
An angry customer can rightly damage the reputation of the company if it does not receive proper attention. Conversely, a good handling of the complaint could even reinforce the image of the company.
2. The angry customer for no reason
Although it is no longer necessary to repeat it, any contact center agent knows that the customer is not always right. In this sense, it is not uncommon for angry customer complaints to be unfounded, unfair, irrational, or simply disproportionate.
Faced with these types of users, the agent must show special empathy and understanding, patiently proposing alternative solutions or honestly explaining the impossibility of accessing what they request (and redirecting them to reasonable options).
It could be interesting to use phrases such as the following: “we appreciate his opinion”, “we are going to X in the next 24 hours”, “I will call him again as soon as X”.
A subspecies of this typology would be the abusive client, who tries to obtain some unfair benefit or to use the complaint in a way that is close to blackmail. As you may already know, it is usually not a good idea to offer unfair compensation that could lead to a barrage of interested complaints.
Anyway, the balance is delicate, so sometimes it is necessary to agree to the client’s demands even if they are not entirely fair.
3. The customer who insults
When faced with a client who raises the tone of voice and insults the agent, the reaction should always be calm and self-controlled. After hearing the complaint without interruption, he should try to address the situation in a calm tone and with reasonable proposals.
In any case, if the verbal escalation reaches excessive limits, the agent can warn the client of this situation and even cut the call if he cannot redirect it after the warnings.
How to extract value from the angry customer
Without a doubt, angry customer service is a challenge for any business and a considerable source of conflict.
However, it is often overlooked that these situations can also represent an interesting opportunity for the company. The angry customer:
- Provide immediate and honest feedback on situations that need to be improved.
- It can serve as a starting point for a product redesign or poor process tuning.
- It is excellent training for call center agents to hone their knowledge of how to deal with angry customers.
In short, we can understand that the angry customer is both a challenge and an opportunity for improvement for the company in general and for the contact center in particular. Without a doubt, knowing how to take advantage of these types of situations with intelligence is a sign of maturity of the company that users tend to appreciate. With EVOLUTION, our software for call and contact centers you will be able to facilitate the job of your agents so that they will only have to worry about maintaining a good relationship with customers.