Black Friday is just hours away and for those of you that have your own business, you just know you are going to have a few customers throughout the day that are nothing more than a bomb waiting to go off. Now, I have read a thousand articles and have literally had hundreds of people tell me how to deal with angry customers over the years and I am here to tell you one thing, “These idiots have never had to deal with angry customers!”
Let’s take a look at some advice that is most commonly given but will often only aggravate the situation further rather than rectify the customer’s complaint.
1. “Acknowledge the problem and say you are sorry.” – They are upset, they do not want to hear how sorry you are, they want it fixed! Empathy tends to set people off because they know in most cases it is not sincere. If they are freaking out, try and get them to calm down and let them know that if they can tell you about the problem calmly, you should be able to fix it.
2. “What can we do to make your experience better with our company?” – Probably the most idiotic statement and advice ever given. How about provide a product or service that actually delivers on its promise? See the theme here, most of these things that are recommended do nothing more than aggravate the person even further.
Now, these are just two points, but do an Internet search and you will find plenty of advice that is much in the same manner. The bottom line here is the person wants what they paid for and they want it to work. They want to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible and get on with their business.
Empower your employees to make a decision. Give them guidelines as to what they can and cannot approve and make sure they NEVER say, “There is nothing I can do” because believe me, there is always something you can do. Instead, have them tell the customer “I want to make my manager aware of this right now.” Instead of the customer demanding to see the manager, the employee beaten them to the punch. Not only that, but they have made them feel better because now the customer is under the impression the staff member thinks their issue is so important that the manager NEEDS to be brought into the situation.
The best advice you will get in regard to dealing with an angry customer is to immediately put yourself in their shoes. Realize at this moment, this problem is their number one priority, not that you have dealt with 100 cranky people already today. Do what you would want if you were on the other side of the situation and you will find more often than not, you can turn an extremely negative encounter into a very positive one.