It’s a fact of life – there will be times when you have to deal with a disgruntled customer. Whether there’s a mistake or misunderstanding, the customer will be unhappy. It just goes with the territory. How do you deal with an angry customer so that they stay with your company? Here are a few tips.
- Stay calm
When confronting someone who is angry and upset, you want to maintain a professional demeanor. Keep your poise. If you become emotional yourself, you will only make the problem worse. Remember that the anger is not personal. You want to de-escalate rather than the reverse. Take some deep breaths if you have to but remain calm.
- Listen to the customer
Let the customer vent and get the complaint off their chest. Try not to interrupt or argue with the person. Just listen. Focus your attention on the person. Look the person in the eye and nod your head occasionally to show you are following along. Ask questions if you don’t understand something. Listening is key because, for most people, this is what they really want – someone to listen and pay attention to them.
Also, watch the signals that you send with your body language. Avoid crossing your arms, pursing your lips, looking at your watch or looking away from the person. All of these are signs of impatience and will only make the person angrier.
After the person has finished speaking, summarize what was said to let them know that you heard and understood the problem.
Whether an apology is called for or not, tell the customer you are sorry for the problem. You don’t want to lose the customer, so let them know that you understand their frustration, apologize for it, and that you are going to help solve the problem.
- Search for a solution
You can begin by asking the customer what they think should be done about the problem or offer a solution of your own. If you are not sure what should be done, find someone who can help to solve the problem.
- Take some time to lower your stress levels
Handling these situations is always stressful, and you will probably be a bit agitated afterward. Take some time to regain your composure and recover. Take a walk or chat with a coworker.
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