Tue 21 Apr 2009
When running a small business, there is no escaping from the fact that you will face angry clients at some point or another.
Knowing how to handle angry clients can ensure that the harm done to you and your business is limited to a minimum. It will also help ensure that your day is not spoiled by the words or actions of an angry client.
Below are some tips to help you in handling angry clients in your business.
Whether you like it or not, the client is always king - so in order to take the steam out of the client's anger, the first thing that you should do is to apologize and promise to look into the matter.
Do not answer back in an angry tone without understanding the situation first, since it might only egg the client on to launch an angrier tirade against you or your employees.
By apologizing to your client, you will be sending the message that you are ready to collaborate with your client, hear out the problem, and take corrective action.
Do Not Take It Personally
Often, a small issue may be blown out of proportion because the client is too worked up and not thinking clearly.
Other times it could be because they are unloading anger that has been generated somewhere else. Your employees also could have contributed to or generated the anger by neglecting the client in some way.
You should understand that this anger is not personally directed towards you. The customer might be simply protesting the system that your business follows.
Diffuse Volatile Situations
Do not aggravate the situation further, instead try to diffuse it as soon as possible. Hear and understand the reason that the customer is upset and then take the appropriate steps.
If the customer is angry with a particular employee, then come up with an excuse to send the employee outside or into another section of your office or store. Then, either handle the customer yourself, or direct an experienced employee to handle the situation.
Make Amends If You Are At Fault
If it is your fault that a customer is angry, then try to make amends in any way you can. You can offer a special discount on the product that they are buying, or you can include freebies with their purchase.
Make sure that you explain to the customer that you would like to make up for your mistake. Once your client feels that you have accepted your mistake and are ready to act on it, then they will probably be more forgiving.
Learn From Your Experience
You should learn from every angry customer interaction, so that in future you can learn to identify the signs correctly before eruptions take place. By doing this, you can successfully defuse situations before they get out of hand.