There is nothing more challenging than an angry customer. Whether it is equipment malfunction, a repair issue or a service issue customers tend to use IT repair people as their personal punching bag. Learning to diffuse an angry customer will not only earn rave reviews, you’ll be able to do your job without your blood boiling.
There are numerous ways to settle the bull in your china shop. Give one (or more) of these a try next time you encounter an angry customer.
Practice Effective Listening
We hear it all the time in customer service but it’s true – customers sometimes just want to be heard. Even if what the customer is telling you is irrelevant to the true problem at hand, they will feel better and any high tension is more likely to cease. Simply nodding and making sympathetic remarks will help the customer relate to you and their attitude will shift from a “Me” problem to a “We” problem. Being on the same team makes for smoother business.
Keep it simple
Customers get frustrated when they don’t understand a problem. One of the trigger points for customer frustration when dealing with IT issues is that they see there is a problem but can’t fix it. All the customer knows is that the product or service you are providing is not working.
Remember: This has much less to do with you as it has to do with the customer’s ego – no one likes to feel stupid. By speaking to the customer as literally as possible without using technical jargon the customer’s ego remains intact, and your head stays clear.
No one has time to hold a customer’s hand. However if a job is going to take longer than expected, is more costly than originally expected or needs extra parts – tell them now. This way the customer understands the timeline and costs involved and can prepare themselves accordingly. A customer can’t get mad if they know what they’re getting into.
Remember to Breathe
Repeat after me: The customer is not always right. It is understandably frustrating when a customer thinks they understand an IT issue or knows better than you. It’s even worse when they treat you as less-than-human.
Remember to take some time for yourself and breathe. This means you can calmly and confidently counter their concerns. If you appear confident, calm and collected in your service, a frustrated customer is less likely to argue. Less arguing means better business.