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How To Deal With Difficult Customers : The Dos and Don’ts of Customer Service

purity muriuki



Customer Service

Speaking with an angry customer is often challenging, even for the most pleasant and experienced staff members. With the appropriate tactics, you can help minimize the damage a difficult customer can cause to your business and employees. Since angry customers will always be a part of any industry, it’s essential you find the best possible solution to the problem.

The Do’s for Handling a Difficult Customer Interaction

One : Respond Quickly with Relevant Information

Whether the angry customer is in front of you or on the other side of the computer, they will want a quick response to their issue. One of the most important customer service metrics you should track is average first response time because it reduces your ticket volume and prevents the customer from becoming even angrier. Don’t refer them to a FAQ page, as it will make them feel brushed off. Instead, answer their question directly or link them to a guide for IT issues.

Two : Accept WrongDoing and Repair the Relationship

The customer isn’t always right, but the customer should receive acknowledgement for their wasted time, as long as they aren’t becoming abusive. Say sorry immediately, and start repairing your relationship by offering client appreciation gifts, store credit, or a replacement.

Three : Answer Their Anger With Empathy

Showing empathy to the angry customer can go a long way because you are coming from a place of understanding. Most customers will calm down if you say, “I understand why you’re upset,” before giving a solution or explaining why a solution can’t be delivered at this time.

Four : Create a Customer Support System

Some customer complaints can be avoided entirely if you set up a self-help resource on your website or an automated response system to common questions. Be sure to tell the customer where they can find these resources. If they don’t find an answer, refer them to your help desk.

The Don’ts for Calming an Angry Customer Interaction

One : Allow Customers to Abuse Staff Members

To receive adequate help, a customer needs to interact with your staff calmly despite their frustrations. If at any point you or your team feels intimidated or insulted, tell the customer that they have gone overboard and will not receive further help. Support staff should never have to tolerate slurs or foul language. However, if you still choose to defuse the situation despite this, try to remain calm and lead by example to show how ridiculous their behavior has become.

Two : Blame the Customer for the Mishap

It’s human nature to deflect the blame when a mistake is made, especially if it was made by the other party. However, if your staff does this, even if the customer is in the wrong, it will always make the situation worse and cause the customer to become defensive.

Three : Ask Questions the Customer Already Answered

Never ask the same question twice because it shows you weren’t listening. Instead, ask the customer a relevant question for more information. For example, if they said they didn’t receive their invoice, ask what email they used to see if it was sent to the wrong location.

Four : Take Anything Personally

Even if you helped this customer with a past sale, don’t take their anger personally. Although this is easier said than done, if you let the customer get under your skin, you won’t be able to interact with them calmly. When the interaction is finished, let off some steam with a stress ball.

Remember : Not all customer interactions are fixable, and they may not have anything to do with how you handled the situation. Some customers are there to start a fight or relieve tension. As long as you did your best to solve their problem, you did the right thing.


I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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