Because I’ve worked in customer service my entire career, I have taken my fair share of angry customers. Since I previously worked in management at a local restaurant, I dealt with upset customers on a fairly frequent basis, both on the phone and in person. Now working in insurance, I still come across some frustrated customers. Below are some do’s and don’ts for dealing with upset and angry customers!

  1. DON’T be rude – DO treat the customer with respect: The quickest way to make an already angry customer more upset is by treating them rudely. You may find their complaint to be valid, or you may find it to be silly, but regardless, everyone deserves respect.
  2. DON’T interrupt – DO let the customer talk: A great way to resolve problems is to actually listen to the customer. Sometimes they just need to vent about the situation and after they explain, they may calm down quite a bit.
  3. DON’T push off the problem – DO show empathy: Customers will become even more upset if you are not showing interest in their problem. The best thing to do is try to understand the situation from their perspective. When you acknowledge that there actually is a problem, the customer should calm down. In fact, they may become even pleasant as they know you understand and the problem will be resolved.
  4. DON’T blame others – DO your best to resolve the issue: Blaming the customer or blaming other co-workers for the problem is not going to resolve the issue at hand. The customer could get more upset if you blame them, and the customer could question the competence of the staff if you blame your coworkers. The best way to handle the situation is to let the customer know you will resolve the problem for them.

Patience really is key in handling difficult customers. If you try to rush them or pass off their complaint, the situation could quickly go from bad to worse. How you handle these situations can make all the difference.

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