5 Strategies for Helping Angry Customers

Ellie Wu notes that “people-pleasing is driven by fear, threat, and dread towards an unsustainable path to failure.” When a customer is angry with us, we may get upset. That can change how we deal with the customer and significantly affect the customer experience. This hostile reaction typically occurs when we respond with our emotions…

Zight | November 04, 2021 | 5 min read time

Article Last Updated: July 02, 2023

5 Strategies for Helping Angry Customers

Table of Contents

Ellie Wu notes that “people-pleasing is driven by fear, threat, and dread towards an unsustainable path to failure.” When a customer is angry with us, we may get upset. That can change how we deal with the customer and significantly affect the customer experience. This hostile reaction typically occurs when we respond with our emotions instead of listening to what the customer says. 

Sadly, what you need to do in most cases is to let the customer vent about their frustration. You have to let them get their anger off their chest while you listen for any underlying issues. Listening is the first step in understanding a customer’s problem fully. Here are five proven strategies to help you deal with upset customers and convert them to happy customers. 


1. Use The Customer’s Name

Using a client’s name puts a face to the person you’re speaking with. It instills a powerful level of customization in the interaction. This is more effective than addressing a nameless nobody.

Addressing a customer by their name shows you value them, and it reminds them that you’re also a real person working for a real business. Also, addressing a customer by their name shows them you respect them.

However, addressing a customer by their name too much could be awkward. So use their name sparingly and focus on apology phrases, greetings, and farewells.


2. Take Responsibility

Apologize to the customer for the problem they’re facing. Acknowledging their problem and letting the client know you’re sorry can go a long way in calming down the angry customer. Be thorough and honest in your apology and take responsibility for the mistake.

Rather than: “I’m sorry for any inconvenience.” you can say: “I’m sorry your order was delayed. This isn’t the customer experience we were aiming for and I can see how this is really frustrating. I’ve looked into the matter and here’s what went wrong…”

An in-depth apology shows the consumer you care, and you recognize their frustration. Briefly explain what happened but don’t drag it out. Keep your apology concise and move forward.

There’s true power in apologizing and taking responsibility. When you apologize correctly, you can convert difficult customers to happy customers.

When apologizing to your customers, make them feel that you’re genuinely sorry for the issue they’re facing, no matter whether you think they deserve an apology. A genuine apology can help calm down angry customers. Being empathetic while apologizing to angry customers can go a long way. Often, angry customers just want you to apologize for the poor customer service. So, you can cool down upset customers by compensating them with an apology. This can pacify their anger to a great extent.


3. Listen to Understand

Active listening involves concentrating on everything someone says, giving you a clear picture of why they’re angry. 

When dealing with angry customers, it requires you to be present and give customers your full attention. Read the customer’s complaint twice before you respond to their query. Focus on their words, not the frustration behind their words. To prove you’re actively listening to their complaint, you can paraphrase, ask clarifying questions, and avoid interrupting them.

When dealing with angry customers, let the customer have their say. Active listening helps you to understand their issue thoroughly and look for the best options to offer viable solutions. Even if you know what they’ll say next, and even if they might be mistaken, listening leverages an opportunity to build strong connections.


4. Build on Established Trust

Most angry customers have lost trust in your brand. It’s essential to rebuild and maintain customer trust.

If you’ve made a mistake, you’ll need to work harder to rebuild the relationship. To build on an established trust, you must show the upset customer you care, and show them you really understand their problem. When helping an upset customer, ensure you have all their purchase history and background information. This will prove to them you’re confident and capable of solving their problem.

Be honest with the angry customer. If possible, give them a behind-the-scenes view of things; this can help them empathize with you.

To build on an established trust, take responsibility for the mistake by using statements such as “This is completely our fault,” and “We made a mistake.” Also, use positive statements, such as “Let me find what happened” (instead of “I don’t know what happened”), and “Let me check with my colleague” (instead of “I’m new in this position”).


5. Create a Solution to Move Forward

Your primary goal when dealing with an upset customer is to resolve their problem. Are there any workarounds? Is there anything you or the client can do themselves immediately to meet their needs? If so, notify them.

If you find you can’t resolve their problem immediately, be transparent with the customer. Set expectations so they know when their problem will be resolved. If possible, meet those expectations. If you can’t, inform them ahead of time to avoid damaging the relationship further. 

Escalate the concern to a senior member of the customer support team or your manager. Collaboration is often the quickest way to create a solution to move forward. You might have more technically experienced members on the customer service team, and their help could be valuable in finding a workable solution. 


Final Thoughts

Helping upset customers is daunting, but it’s possible. The most crucial thing you can do is let an upset customer vent their frustrations. Then, listen actively to what they’re saying, meet them with patience, respect, and empathy.

Using these five tips will put your business on a path to success, and growth and you’ll be able to convert negative customer experiences to positive ones. Also, you’ll be able to build stronger and better relationships with your customers.

 Zight (formerly CloudApp) is a powerful video messaging tool that enables you to record your screen when explaining product features to your customers. It’s built for internal communication with customer support teams and external communication with consumers. Zight (formerly CloudApp)’ messaging helps LeadIQ increase its revenue by 10X with automation. Using Zight (formerly CloudApp), the team at LeadIQ only takes 5 seconds to capture screenshots, blur out sensitive information, and upload content on WordPress.

Ready to chat with us about how to save time, money and help your team communicate better?