10 Steps for Dealing with Angry Customers

10 Steps for Dealing with Angry Customers

It happens to the best of us. No matter how hard we try to give exceptional customer service, we will have dissatisfied customers and clients. It is a fact of life. 

Here are 10 things you can do to turn the situation around:

  1. Assume that the customer has a right to be angry.
  2. Listen to emotion without emotion.
  3. Be patient.
  4. Speak softly.
  5. Reiterate.
  6. Own the problem.
  7. Place the customer first, problem second.
  8. Triage.
  9. Correct the Issue.
  10. Follow up.

Source: 10 Powerful Steps to Defuse Angry Customers, by John Mehrmann BusinessKnowHow.com

Powerful suggestions for any business, business owner or individual, however, I will be focusing my comments on the Illinois real estate industry which includes:  

  • real estate brokerage firms
  • real estate brokers
  • real estate managing brokers
  • real estate schools
  • real estate instructors

A key concept that I share with my students and clients on a regular basis is the idea of treating others in the manner in which they would like to be treated (my paraphrase of the "golden rule").

There have been those times that I have been the angry customer and felt justified with my anger.  Quite frankly, I can't recall a time that the object of my wrath used these steps, but if they had, just how different the situation might have been.

What If they had validated my anger and listened without an emotional response? What if they were patient and spoke softly and owned the problem and put me first rather than the problem?

What if they evaluated the damage, offered to correct the problem and followed up?

I suspect that my anger would be defused and that we might just be able to come to a workable solution to my problem with which I would be happy.  

Would I do business with them in the future? Probably. Would I feel that they were interested in me and my concerns? Probably. Would I perhaps refer others to them? More than likely.

Hey, this sounds like something I should try the next time I get a call from an angry customer. 


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