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7 Tips for Dealing with Irate Customers

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 3

Even companies with the best customer service track record are bound to have an angry customer every once in awhile. While no one likes dealing with an irate customer, how you handle the situation will reflect directly on your company. Here are five tips to help you better deal with angry customers.

Don't Take Anything Personally – Understand that the customer is upset with their situation and not you personally. Despite what they may say and the tone they take, stay calm and always respond in a polite, courteous manner.

Let Them Vent – Yes, angry customers want you to fix their problem, but that's only a part of the solution. Many customers also want to be heard and have their feelings or situation validated. Take the time to listen and acknowledge the feelings of the customer. Once they have calmed down, move on to actually trying to fix the problem.

Ask Questions – If you don't understand something, ask the customer for clarification so you completely understand the situation. It's far better to ask questions that may seem foolish than to start off on the wrong path to solve their problem.

Repeat the Customer – To avoid miscommunication and make sure you understood the customer correctly, state back to the customer what you heard them say is the issue.

Be Honest – When it comes to handling customer complaints, always be honest and open with the customer about what you can do to fix their problem. If you don't know the answer to a specific question, tell them and make an effort to find someone who does. One of the worst things you can do is makeup false information and relay it to the customer.

Ask What They Want – Sometimes the simplest way to the right solution is to directly ask the customer what they want. You may find it is as simple as a refund or they simply wanted to vent. If you are unable to meet their requests, let them know and work with them until you find a solution they are satisfied with.

Thank the Customer – Take the time to thank the customer for their candidness and bringing the situation to your attention. They will appreciate the fact that you not only helped them, but were a crucial part in making a positive change within your company's customer service.



Jan 22, 2010 5:45pm
Good tips for running a business. Im sure I will need to use these sooner or later!
Mar 18, 2010 7:32pm
The problem with dealing with an irate customer, sometimes starts because the original salesperson, 'overpromised something that the company could not deliver' to close the sale and make his commission.
May 6, 2010 7:18am
It is not always easy to remember each of these steps when someone is screaming at you about something that is not your fault to begin with.
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