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7 Best Ways To Deal With Anxious and Irate Customers

Sales teams often experience seasonal ups and downs throughout the year. But the current global health crisis is hitting businesses hard. People are being forced to change their lifestyles, adjust to working from home and reevaluate their needs. With all of this uncertainty your customers have plenty of questions right now directed at you and your contact centre solution. They are wondering how this crisis will affect their business or their needs.


The best way to calm anxiety and nerves is to communicate periodically to keep them informed. When communicating with irate customers and clients about your business’s actions during the pandemic, it is important to practice empathy and express your company’s collective support to your customer base.


Here are the best ways to deal with anxious and irate customers during this pandemic.


1. Keep calm


If a customer sends you an angry email, or starts shouting at you on a phone call, it’s hard not to take that personally. You will likely instinctively feel a bristle of indignation and defensiveness as thoughts pop into your head of how wrong that customer is, how hard you work to support your company’s contact center, and you’ll start to feel angry before you know it.


Instead, take a second to breathe and process what your customer is actually saying. Understand that everyone is human and experiences moments of weakness, and don’t take their anger personally or hold it against them.


2. Listen actively


Pay close attention to the words the customer is saying, instead of focusing on the anger behind the words. Great call center agents practice actively listening, and by doing so, you’ll be able to figure out what’s making the customer so angry and how to resolve the issue, instead of simply trying to comfort them and de-escalate the interaction. You’ll be able to solve their problem and make them satisfied again sooner by paying close attention to the angry words so you can respond as quickly as possible.


3. Thank them for bringing the issue to your attention


When your customer sounds angry and negative about a situation, thanking them for voicing their concern to you can go a long way toward building rapport with them. A simple thank you to acknowledge their time and patience as you work to solve the issue will suffice.


4. Clearly explain the steps you’ll take to solve the problem


Make it clear to the customer what you’ll do to get started addressing their concern. Whether it’s something simple you can do over the phone or over your call-center software, or if you’ll need to go through a process with them, spell out your next moves so the customer feels heard and at ease.


5. Set a time to follow-up with them


Sometimes, problems can’t be solved in just one phone call and might require you syncing up with your manager or filing an internal request with the product team. If this is the case, let the customer know why you can’t handle the issue on the phone with them, and give them a timeline of when they can expect to hear from you next.


The added benefit of this is it will give the customer time to cool off, and it will give you time to get guidance and feedback from your manager about how to proceed.


6. Be genuine


Just as important as remaining calm when dealing with an angry customer, it’s important to be sincere, too. Customers can tell when they’re being spoken to in a patronising or equally angry manner by call center agents, so make sure your word choice and tone are deliberate and respectful. Nobody likes being talked down to, and even if the customer comes in hot with anger or a raised voice, make sure you take the high road to diffuse tension and make the customer feel like they’re being taken seriously.


7. Prioritise each case


A common frustration for customers is the feeling that their support case isn’t important to your business. This is particularly prevalent for businesses that have large or international teams supporting as a contact center solution. When your company is dealing with thousands of inquiries each day, some customers feel like their case is expendable and that your team can afford to provide an occasional poor experience.


Listen, understand, assure, and resolve


During a pandemic situation everyone can get frustrated due to many unmet needs. No matter where you stand during this situation, as a sales personnel or a consumer. Keep it mind that we are all in this together. So, as the person behind call center software, you need to be the bigger person and understand that anger and frustration is normal. You just need to give them a solution, that is simply what every irate customer needs. A solution.

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