When do customers yell at you

Dealing with Difficult Customers: When a customer gets loud

I still owe you a film on dealing with difficult customers.

You know the beginning: a customer yells at you on the phone and you want to run away from shock. Or you have a nasty answer on the tip of your tongue. But you know better than that. Take a deep breath, count to 3, and relax your shoulders. And you say to yourself, "I'm not going to hook you." In my last article, I described how you can avoid the flight or fight reaction in this way.

But the customer is still screaming.

And now?

There is a catch

When we are angry, we want control over the other person's feelings and behavior in order to achieve our goals. We throw sentences at his head that are supposed to force him to react.

"You are more village than the police allow."
"Do you even know what you are doing?"
"What kind of juice shop is this actually?"

These phrases are worms on fish hooks.

If you answer that, hang on the hook. So the first rule of thumb for angry customers is: ignore the worm. Don't answer. Otherwise the angry customer will determine the course of the conversation and you will have to react.

Also, be careful with humor. A quick-witted answer can make the customer laugh, but you run a high risk. Failure to get your sense of humor can be downright embarrassing and even have professional consequences for you.

Listen to

Instead, just listen. Allow the customer to let off steam without interrupting them. Pay attention to the content, not the unfriendly and unfortunate language. Anyone who gets upset is not ready to speak. And very important: do not throw a line yourself by reacting snuggly, unfriendly or sarcastically.

Don't ask questions about the problem or start trying to solve it - it's too early for that. If possible and necessary, take notes for later.

Be patient, this phase can take a long time.

The customer can get angry

Yes, a customer has a right to be angry. And it's your job to endure it. It's part of your job. Certainly not the funniest, but it's part of it. Your feelings don't count right now. It's sad but true.

You may not understand the customer's anger. Accept it anyway. You are not him and you are not in his skin. Everyone thinks and feels differently.

Do not give the customer any bad names in your mind such as idiot, idiot or fool and do not consider them stupid, haphazard, or conceited. This will affect your behavior and your choice of words. Should such thoughts arise, ask yourself instead, "What does this customer need and how can I supply them?"

Let the customer know you understand. Good phrases are “I understand that you are upset. I would too. ”Or“ That must be frustrating. I would also be disappointed. "

time for emotions

You have already taken the first step, but all good things come in threes.

Express your regret about what happened. Even if the customer made a mistake, they still have a problem with your product or service. "I'm sorry" is not an admission of guilt, but just an expression of regret and always fits. And apologize if you actually made a mistake.

Now thank the customer for reaching out to you and for giving you a chance to resolve the problem. He could have turned his back on your company forever and bought from the competition from now on. But he is still willing to remain your customer if you solve the problem.

Hopefully the customer is calmer by now. Don't expect the customer to be friendly by now, you haven't solved their problem yet. If the customer is still upset, give them the time, keep listening, and let them know you understand. Be patient.

Time for trouble

Is the customer calmer? Juhu - you can transition to a factual level. Assure the customer that you want to help him - you personally, not “we” and certainly not “you”. You now have this complaint, even if you did not cause it. Resist the temptation to blame others. It is not about guilt now, but about solutions.

Find common ground. What is the customer doing right, which statement can you agree with, which problem have you already had yourself? State what you understand in your own words so that the customer can confirm or correct you.

What does the customer think how to solve the problem? Did he say that already? If not, ask him: What would be a fair solution for you? ”. Do you have another solution in mind yourself? Ask him what he thinks: "If I do ... will you find a fair solution?"

Take care of the problem. Do it yourself. If you need help, get help, but you keep talking to the customer. Do not hand the customer over to a colleague without a compelling reason. Discuss the next steps you and the customer will take.

Finish the conversation on a positive note. Re-express your regret that there was a reason for the complaint and thank the customer again for giving you the opportunity to resolve the problem.

Set boundaries (including yourself)

If a lot of money is involved and the customer is primarily interested in clearing up the question of guilt and is not interested in solving the problem, get the backing of your boss and the legal department if they are available. If necessary, hand the case over to them, do not risk making a wrong decision yourself, which can have repercussions for the whole company.

If the customer becomes abusive, yells at you, or insults them, point out that this is not okay. If he continues, end the conversation as he is obviously too excited to give you a chance to resolve the problem. Offer to contact you again when he has calmed down.

The choice of words is important. Don't say “I don't have to accept that” or anything like that. Remain professional, say, for example, "Please lower your volume." Or "I think we won't get any further this way." Let's talk tomorrow (in 2 hours / in 30 minutes) when you've calmed down a bit. What is the best time for you? ”.

If you are very brave, ask for his phone number and call him 1-2 hours later.

How was it?

When the customer has left, give yourself a short break! Even if it's only five minutes. If it helps, talk to a colleague or friend or the boss.

Then reflect on what you did well and think of one thing that you want to do differently next time (just one!). Change your movie. Play the new movie over and over until the old movie is overwritten.

Oh yeah, the movie - you're still waiting for it

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