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Customer Service Essential: Responding to Angry Customers

No matter how high quality your products or services are, you’re bound to deal with unhappy customers. Consumers today are looking for fast solutions to their problems. If you’re unable to find a solution right away or one that your customer likes, they may lash out. So, how do you respond?

At Radius Global Solutions, our contact center agents are extensively trained on how to respond to angry customers. We know how to diffuse the tension and offer a solution. Our team turns problems into opportunities, giving your customers a positive experience.

Discover our 5 tips for handling customer complaints and boosting brand loyalty:


five tips for responding to angry customers graphic


Tip #1: Practice Active Listening

When a customer is particularly upset, it can be difficult to not get defensive. As a customer support representative, the issue the customer is facing is usually not your fault. Remember that they’re angry about the situation as a whole, not at you specifically.

Instead of getting frustrated, stop and actively listen to the customer. What is the cause of their concern? How long have they been having an issue with your company? What result are they hoping to get?

You may not be able to offer the exact solution they’re hoping for. But taking the time to understand what they want makes your customers feel heard, and that can be enough to help them calm down.


Tip #2: Repeat Their Issue Back to Them

If possible, take notes as the customer relays the problem. This will help you remember all the details and ensure each point is addressed. These notes can be recorded in your CRM system, enabling other employees to reference the conversation as needed.

Once the customer is done speaking, summarize their complaint back to them. Ask them if you missed anything or if they’d like to add anything else before you work to find a solution.

This demonstrates that you were truly listening and that you care. It also gives you the chance to verify that you agree with the problem you’re solving. This alone may exceed the customer’s expectations and help temper their anger.


Tip #3: Apologize for the Inconvenience

A genuine, “I’m so sorry you had to experience that,” can go a long way. Even if you feel that your company didn’t do anything wrong, it’s important to apologize for any inconvenience.

If this customer interaction takes place over the phone, don’t forget that tone matters. It’s easy to tell whether you mean what you’re saying by the tone of your voice. Acknowledge that a mistake has been made and that this doesn’t reflect the level of service your company strives to provide.

Outsourcing a customer contact center can be extremely helpful when it comes to handling disgruntled customers. Radius’ customer service agents are caring, compassionate, and professional when responding to complaints.


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Tip #4: Show Empathy

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. It can be incredibly frustrating when a product or service doesn’t live up to expectations. And if you’re having a bad day, a minor inconvenience can feel like a big deal.

By empathizing with the customer, it’s easier to de-escalate the situation. You can show empathy by responding in many ways:

  • “I would be upset if this happened to me, too.”
  • “I completely agree that [issue] is not acceptable. I understand why you’re frustrated.”
  • “I appreciate you bringing this to my attention and I’m sorry to hear about your experience with us.”

Again, even if you disagree that your business is at fault, responding as if you’re on the customer’s side will help them cool down. Of course, you shouldn’t trash your company. But there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that the customer’s complaints are valid.


Tip #5: Offer A Solution

If you can, explain what happened – as long as it isn’t an excuse. Maybe the customer misunderstood the rules of a sale. Or perhaps received bad information from a new employee. Regardless, it may help the customer to know that what happened to them is not standard for your company.

Sometimes, you can give the customer exactly what they want. If they want a refund on a faulty product, many businesses can offer this. However, not every problem has an easy solution. This step may require some compromise.

If you cannot resolve the problem right away, be honest with the customer. Explain that you need to speak with your team and let the customer know when you’ll get back to them. Try to be specific so they know how important it is to you and your company.

Make sure you ask for the customer’s contact information and set a reminder for yourself to follow up on the date promised, even if you don’t have an answer yet. You don’t want the customer to feel as if you brushed them off.


Turn Customer Complaints into Success Stories

Following our steps will help you address customer complaints in a way that diffuses tension and creates a positive experience. This will encourage customer loyalty and avoid a bad online reputation.

However, properly handling complex issues can be challenging. When done incorrectly, you could lose business and struggle with customer retention. Let Radius Global Solutions’ team of customer care professionals help your business provide excellent service.

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