9 Right Things to Do When Dealing with Angry Customers

August 19th, 2015 | Wendyann Lewis | Communication | Blog Home
how to chat with angry customers

Customers will complain and contact your business when they are angry or frustrated. It is important to teach chat agents how to deal with angry customers to diffuse the situation before it escalates into a reputation nightmare.

Listen Actively to Angry Customers

When a customer comes online to chat and they are angry, it is best to let them explain the situation without interjecting.

Don’t dismiss the customer’s problem as trivial or react to the person’s anger.

Moreover, remember to acknowledge the customer’s feelings first before trying to fix the problem.

Often once the customer has vented a little, they feel calmer and you can then work on fixing the problem the person has.

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Include Customer’s Name in Chat

It is important to include the customer’s name throughout the chat. This proves you are acknowledging them as a valuable person and that the customer is dealing with a live human on the other end.

If you say something like “Thank you Steven for making us aware of the situation”, it shows the customer you appreciate their business and care about customer satisfaction.

Even if you use canned messages, you should include the customer’s name before they send the text. It is possible for you to include canned messages into a text bar and then edit it before sending it to a visitor.

Stay Calm and Don’t Take the Anger Personally

It is important for you to remember that the anger the customer is expressing is due to the situation.

The person isn’t directing it at you who is the other end of the chat. Also, the person may not think before they send the text message so they may say something hurtful without intending it to be taken that way.

When you react to the anger expressed by the customer it isn’t productive and can lead to more problems.

When an agent sends an angry message in a chat because they took the communication from the customer personally, it can escalate the situation beyond where the agent can remedy the problem.

The company may lose the customer and when the person talks about their experience, it will hurt the business’ reputation.

You need to be very careful when crafting responses during an angry chat. Tone can be misconstrued in a written conversation so any text that could be interpreted as anger, resent, sarcasm or condescension cannot be sent to angry customers.

Understand What the Customer Really Wants

During a conversation with an angry customer, you need to cut through the anger and bluster to determine what the customer is really looking for.

It can be something as simple as an apology, a free upgrade to resolve the problem, or a discount on their bill. Sometimes the customer is looking for nothing more than just having the issue fixed quickly and efficiently.

Don’t just offer free items or a discount until you know what resolution the customer is looking for. Offering things at random will only frustrate the customer because you are not serving the customer’s needs.

Often looking through the customer history, prior chats, and notes made by other chat agents can help provide insight into what the customer wants to resolve the situations.

In addition, experience handling similar situations with other customers can be useful in determining the best resolution.

If you don’t have experience handling this type of complaint, you can ask other agents and the manager within the live chat monitor for assistance.

If you think you are not able to resolve the complaint, just pass the chat to a more experienced agent within the monitor.

Recommended for you: How to Reveal Your Customers True Wants, Needs and Expectations

Admit Your Mistakes

Admitting mistakes proves the company is human and will help the customer to be more willing to forgive.

It is when companies tried to hide their mistakes and refuse to accept responsibility that must customers leave a company.

It is important for your company to have a policy in place on how to handle product recalls, software issues and other types of company wide problems that may arise.

This way you can handle angry customers quickly, supply them with the information the customer needs and let the customer know what can be done to rectify the situation.

The customer is always right policy doesn’t always work. Sometimes a customer isn’t always right or they try to take advantage of the situation by asking for valuable products or a high amount of money to compensate them for the frustration they experienced.

You should know how far you can go to satisfy a customer. If the customer demands something you can’t provide, transfer the chat to a manager so the supervisor can handle the situation.

Don’t Leave Angry Customers in the Queue

Angry customers usually cannot wait to let their emotions out and want you to be there right after they click the chat button. So the wise thing to do is to have a dedicated live chat team or department handle customer complaint.

Don’t leave the customer in the queue or finish your current chat before replaying to an angry customer. This will only aggravate the customer further and may frustrate him to the point where he may leave the chat.

If you lose an angry customer on a live chat, you most likely have lost him forever.

Respond to Angry Customers without Delay

Most live chat operators handle concurrent chats, which can mean that there is a delay from the time when a customer asks a question to the time when an operator response.

This ability to multi-task increases the efficiency of customer service departments; however, special care must be taken when working with an angry customer.

If you are working with two customers simultaneously, you need to make sure you respond promptly to the messages sent by an angry customer.

A quick response helps to diffuse a tense situation and shows the customer that you are taking the matter seriously.

Avoid Spelling and Grammar Errors

Spelling and grammar errors look unprofessional. When you are teaching live chat operators how to chat with angry customer, you want to make sure they use all of the tools your live chat service offers to make their messages look well thought out and professional.

Canned messages are a great way to ensure a quick response to a customer that is grammatically correct.

Some live chat software also offers a spell check option so you can check your messages before hitting the send button. This way you won’t further irritate an upset customer with ridiculous errors.

Give Yourself a Short “Time-Out”

Last but not the least, let your stress out after the situation has been resolved. It’s all about your mindset after all.

Even if you can handle the angry customer in a professional manner, meaning that you follow all the above best practices, solve the customer’s problem and successfully keep the customer stay with your company, for you it’s still a stressful experience.

That’s why it’s helpful to give yourself a short time-out and let the stress out. You can take a deep breath or a short walk, treat yourself to a snack or just talk to someone that can make you laugh.

Angry customers are a part of doing business. Some customers have a legitimate reason for being angry while others may not. After being trained to listen to customers, use the customer’s name during the chat and resist the urge to engage the customer, you will be more confident to deal with angry customers and diffuse the situation.

Dealing with angry customers is an important customer service soft skill for your chat agent to have. And it needs training. So do other soft skills.

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About 

Wendyann Lewis has over twenty years of sales, customer service and marketing experience. She has degrees in e-business management and business technology and has worked for eight years in digital media. In her free time, she loves biking, reading and spending time with her 6 children (3 human and 3 animal).

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