You will meet angry and frustrated customers that think that you are responsible for their situation. And not taking things personally can be difficult and challenging.
Working in customer service can be stressful and overwhelming. The possibility of needing to handle situations with angry customers daily is pretty high. Especially when there are some productivity goals set for your team, you know that you need to remain calm.
But angry customers that file complaints are not nice. They usually are very aggressive and think that you are responsible for their problem. Mistakes are natural because we are all humans, but not all people get to understand that. And even if it is not your fault, it is your responsibility to address the complaint and solve the problem.
These situations can be annoying and frustrating. People can make you feel inferior and guilty, even if it is not your fault. Stopping people to communicate aggressively is a hard thing to do. So, all you can do is to stop taking things personally.
The truth is, when working in customer service, you meet a lot of people. And while some of them are understanding and nice, the possibility of meeting frustrated and angry customers is high. And you need to be mentally prepared to handle the situations and not take things personally.
Here are some tips and tricks that can help you handle a tensioned situation with calm.
Don’t Take It Personally
Great advice and the goal of every human that is working in customer service. The first thing you need to understand to apply the mantra “Don’t take it personally” is to understand that the customer is not angry with you. Yes, they engage in a lot of heated arguments and things can become nasty sometimes. You need to understand that they are angry with the situation they find themselves in, not with you personally.
Other things that can contribute to a high level of fury can be of personal life. They have just added up and the situation with your company was the last thing they could tolerate. Now, here they are, in front of you, yelling and being angry.
You represent the company they are angry with, so it is your responsibility to address the problem. But understanding that is not about you can help you be calmer and more assertive in tensioned moments with customers.
Remaining calm when someone is yelling at you can be a real challenge. But if you come to understand that they are not angry with you, you will have a high chance of managing to remain calm. Listen to the customer’s complaints carefully and analyze the situation. Take notes and think about a solution.
Do not focus on his tone of voice, but rather on the information he is sharing. Try to be understanding and calm. For sure you wouldn’t like to be in his situation either.
Apologize and Be Empathetic
Even if it’s not your fault, you represent the company so you need to always apologize. Keep in mind that you are not taking responsibility for the situation over you. Apologizing does not mean that you made that mistake. It means that you are sorry for the situation the customer finds himself in.
And if you are empathetic with the customers, they will feel that you understand them. Use phrases like “I understand why you feel this way”, “If I have been in your situation, I would have felt the same”. People tend to calm themselves when they see that people understand their moods and reactions.
Let Them Vent
Sometimes, people just want to be heard. And even though the way of sending the message is not the most appropriate, they can give you valuable information. Pay attention to what they are saying and do not interrupt them. Take notes about the situation and let the customer present the whole situation.
The thing is, there is always the possibility of customers blaming and accusing you. And this can make you go angry and react to what they say. Instead, try to control your urge to respond to their accusations, listen carefully and take notes. Then, propose a solution.
You have listened to the customer, you let him vent. You have been empathetic and understanding with his situation and you have apologized. But the customer is not calmer, but angrier. Even though these situations might be rare, they will happen and you need to know how to handle them. The best thing you can do is to stay firm. Yes, you want the situation to be solved, but the customer needs to understand that not always things go out how we wish them to.
So, your approach might need to be firmer and more assertive. Try to be clear when sending your message and practice positivity. The customer will be inspired to be positive too. Be honest and sincere and do not accuse the customer. Staying firm is not something you are born with, but something you learn. And assertive communication can help you to do that.
Fix the Problem
Proposing a solution should be mandatory if you want to maintain your customer retention score high. People get angry from time to time, but if you offer quality services, they will come back. So, if you can offer the solution the customer wants, it’s great!
But not always customers get what they want. There are internal procedures, so things might take some time. Try to find a remedy that is good for the customer. Do not let the problem unresolved, as the anger might intensify and it will become harder and harder to handle the situation.
Working in the customer service domain can be a real challenge sometimes. You meet a lot of customers and your goal is to have a good customer retention score, so you need to handle all the situations.
You will meet angry and frustrated customers that think that you are responsible for their situation. And not taking things personally can be difficult and challenging. Understand that they are angry with the situation, not with you. Stay calm and listen carefully to what they are saying.
Sometimes, people just need to vent so do not interrupt them. Apologize and be empathetic with their situation. Do not let them walk over you, but stay firm. No one wants problems to happen, so you need to find a solution.
Even if it is not what the customer wants, find a remedy that will solve the problem in the short-term. Take notes and talk with your colleagues to find the best solution. Do not take things personally and understand that there are more factors than you see that made him so angry.