A fact that everyone in the retail industry must accept and understand is the fact that that we cannot please everybody. There will be times that things won’t go as plan and we will be facing the consequences in the of a furious customer. So, the only choice you have is to be prepared.
The thing is, it is not as complicated as it may seem. In fact, you can view dealing with angry customers as an opportunity to put these great customer service tips into practice to make a lasting impact on your business and your customers. Every time a customer offers their feedback, good or bad, it’s an opportunity for retailers to address customer needs.
This is now your chance to transform someone’s mindset about your brand from negative to positive through your way of handling their concerns aside from just solving the problem itself.
So, The next time you come across a shopper who’s less than pleased, keep these strategies in mind to diffuse the situation and turn the interaction into a great customer relations.
The usual problem when people started to argue with someone is that, both parties will close their ears and will not listen but instead they set their focus on how to come up with a rebutt which often makes the situation worse.
So, to avoid being caught up with all the commotion, the lesson is to practice active listening instead.
Active listening refes to a structured form of listening and responding that focuses the attention on the speaker. The best practice in active listening is to genuinely pay attention to what the speaker says — and then repeat the speaker’s words back to them.
But, this doesn’t mean you will just parrot what your customer says. It means, in your own words, you repeat what they tell you. Practice better listening through paraphrasing, as it also increases your understanding of their point of view. This way because you demonstrate that you received what they said, understood what happened, and get how the situation made them feel.
Most people simply want to be heard and understood. And with this form of listening, it will allow you to do that for your customers, which can quickly bring the energy down in a heated conversation and lead them to a point where you can engage in a dialogue about solutions.
We all know that the customer is not always right. It is frustrating to know that they’re to blame for the problem that’s causing their anger. But you must not fight fire with fire. Matching their emotions won’t get you anywhere except deeper into a bigger argument or fight.
You and your employees can practice techniques that make it easier to maintain composure (even when the customer loses theirs). Just like active listening takes practice, so does keeping your cool.
Try these tactics and allow your company time to practice these before anyone is confronted with angry customers:
Take a deep breath. Holding your breath from time to time is an effective response to stress. Simply taking deep breaths can keep you calm during these tough situations.
Ask questions. Instead of simply reacting to the customer’s emotions, you can start by collecting their information. This can give you time to calm down. Also, asking questions can soothe customers, too. It forces them to articulate their problem and situation without receiving any blame or accusations from your end.
Receive and acknowledge the customer’s communications. You don’t have to agree with all the things that the customer says, but you can just acknowledge them by saying, “I got it,” or “I understand.” Though staying calm doesn’t immediately solve the problem, but it’s one customer service tip that can contain the situation and prevent it from escalating.
Be Responsible and offer Solutions
If you’ve followed the above customer service tips, you can likely handle the situation to a point where you can open a dialogue about solutions to a customer’s problem.
You may not be able to completely rectify the cause of the customer’s anger, but you can invite them to talk about potential alternatives that work for them. You can also suggest possibilities as appropriate for the situation.
Admit that your store did make a mistake so start with an apology and take responsibility for it. When there’s an error on the retailer’s end, sometimes just taking ownership of the mistake can help calm a furious customer.
So, with that being said, you might need to also eat any costs you incur to resolve the customer’s frustrations. You can use this as an opportunity to audit whatever process caused the problem in the first place, and make adjustments as necessary to prevent future issues.
Set your level of Tolerance
During tensed times, you will be dealing with irrational and emotional customers. So, you need to determine how much of their behavior you’ll tolerate.
What you need to do is to give them a chance to calm down. You may also have to take the lead on de-escalating emotions when they run high. Then, that’s when you invite them to work with you to resolve the problem. You can express that you want to help, and you’d like their cooperation in addressing their concerns. Finally, if a customer is being rude, hateful, or just plain mean, you can politely ask them to leave. You’re not required to solve everyone’s problems — and with some customers, there’s no solution you can offer.
Their anger is not about you, your team, your products, or your company. If they refuse to deal with the situation in a respectful, reasonable manner after you’ve given them a chance to communicate their anger and invited them to seek a solution with you, it’s time to walk away.
Most importantly, your best way to deal with these angry customers is by preventing them to be mad entirely. Though, it’s not always possible, but if you proactively think about your customer experience, this can help you think of potential problems and positively impact how people interact with your products, employees, and your company. Proactively setting up a successful shopping outing saves time and energy that you won’t need to waste on dealing with angry customers.