In every occupation we interact with customers.  For some the interaction is primarily with internal customers, and for others the interaction is mostly with external customers.  In either case, new challenges are presented when the interaction is fueled with anger .

Controlling another person’s anger is impossible; however, staying in control of the interaction IS possible.  Try these techniques:

  • Remind yourself that most customers are looking for a solution. There are always exceptions to the rule, but it is true that most people want you to help them find a way to solve their request or issue.
  • Don’t blame. You will hurt your credibility if you blame someone or something else – and frankly, customers don’t care whose fault it is, they just want their issue taken care of.
  • Be calm, courteous, and confident. Staying calm maintains your personal power, being courteous allows the customer to feel valued, and accepting the fact that you are the expert on your company will help you to communicate confidence.
  • Focus on the factsConcentrating on the facts and gathering needed information will aid in preventing getting hooked into the emotion of the situation.
  • Separate the person from the  problem Your customer is a dynamic person with their own perspectives and pressures – these sometimes carry through to unrelated conversations such as making complaints to a customer service provider.
  • Allow the customer to vent.  Customers need to tell their story.  Letting them purge will help them to feel heard.
  • Express empathy.  This is not the same as agreeing with the customer.  Simply saying something such as, “I understand this is frustrating for you” validates the customers feelings. 
  • Ask closedended questions.  These are the questions that elicit “yes” or “no” responses.  It enables you to stay in control of the conversation and manage the customers emotions.
  • ApologizeThis does not mean you are accepting responsibility.  It does mean you are acknowledging the customers view.
  • Thank themTelling the customer you appreciate their business, the time they took to contact you, or the opportunity to make things right will leave them with a wonderful lasting impression.

And so I thank you for visiting my website!