Dealing With Angry Visitors
Customer Service does not have to be a relic from the past. Recent studies have shown that customers who are engaged, and feel like their needs have been met, are 80% more likely to become repeat customers.
Unfortunately, not all customer interactions can be pleasant, and we live in a day and age where customers have the opportunity to voice their displeasure vocally, and to a wide range of audiences. However, all hope is not lost. Below we will provide you with 9 great ways of dealing with angry online customers, while maintaining customer service standards that will ensure repeat business, and work towards building a relationship with our consumers.
1. Focus on the Fix:
An already irate customer does not want to hear whose fault it is, or how it is “not your fault”, as far as they are concerned, you are the company you represent. Rather than focus on fault, focus on fixing the problem at hand. There is no room for blame when it comes to quality customer service. Instead, show the customer that you’re working diligently to solve their issues.
2. An Apology is Always Free:
It does not matter who is at fault, or why, and offering a sincere apology is not the same as accepting blame for the situation. In many situations a customer will immediately calm down with a simple apology and promise to resolve the situation promptly. Using phrases like, “I’m sorry that this happened, let me see what I can do to solve this problem” or “I apologize, let’s look at ways to fix this right away” lets the customer know that you are working with them, and not against them.
3. Increase Empathy and Increase Customer Satisfaction:
Showing the customer that you understand why they are upset puts you both on the same side of the problem. Let the customer know that you understand their anger or frustration and that you are going to try your best to resolve their issues in a straightforward and timely manner. Telling a customer, “I understand, that seems terribly frustrating, let me see what I can do to help” avoids the customer looking at this as an “us VS them” situation, and now feels they have an advocate on their side.
4. Repeat the Problem Back to the Customer:
Repeating the specific issue lets the consumer know that you are paying attention, understand their specific needs, and are going to work effectively towards resolving the issue they are experiencing. Simply, and without adding words to the customer’s complaint, repeat the complaint back to the customer. “Mrs. Johnson, I understand that your packages have not arrived, let me look into that and see what I can do to fix this situation.” Or “OK, Mr. Smith, I understand that your service has been down for over 24hrs, let me look into this and see what I can do to help you sir.” This is a simple and effective tool that will help disarm an angry customer, and put them back on the road to customer satisfaction.
5. Offer Compensation:
The truth is, customers love getting something for free. Nothing is more effective than offering a customer something as compensation. Prorated services, a discount on a monthly bill, or even a small “free gift”, will all show the customer that you value them and the relationship your company has built.
6. Manners Matter:
Kill your customer with kindness. Never let them see you sweat. The customer is always right. These are all common phrases that have been around for a long time. Why? Because they work! Prove to your customers that despite the negative experience they are currently facing, that they are dealing with professionals who are going to advocate for them and their needs. Address the customer formally, “Yes Ma’am, No Sir”. Thank them for their time and for giving you the opportunity to solve their problem. When the conversation comes to an end, ask the customer if you have solved all of their problems and thank them for their continued business. Remember, the goal is to build long term relationships with your customers.
7. Avoid Small Talk:
The last thing a customer wants to talk about when they call in angry is the weather, or local sports team. Avoid small talk, unless it is initiated by the customer. The last thing you want is a customer to think that you are more concerned with the sports page than their current problems. Stick to the issues at hand, and remain courteous and open to communication.
8. Avoid Lengthy Silences, and Long Hold Times:
A customer that is left to stew in their own emotions has nothing but time to consider shopping elsewhere, and is sure to become increasingly upset with having to wait to be heard. This includes online chat. Use short phrases and sentences, update the customer frequently on progress towards remedying their situation, and always ask permission before placing a customer on hold, even for short periods of time. This avoids a power struggle and shows the customer that you are working together to solve whatever problems may arise.
9. Follow Up:
Great client service departments will always follow up with the customer a few days later in order to make certain the situation was solved. Sending an automated follow up email can potentially change a customer’s perspective.
If the last impression the customer has of a company is negative, following up in a positive, and proactive way, will go a long way in helping a customer feel valued. Even if the chances are high that a response will not be received, the action of following up can change a customer’s outlook completely.
10. Ban visitors
There are times where you may need to ban a visitor. Click here to find more information how to ban a visitor
Play it cool, don’t take it personally, and remember that you are there to assist the customer with their individual needs. Chances are, if a customer feels that you are actively trying to solve a problem, and not trying to shift the blame, they are more likely to stay a customer.