Wednesday, October 27, 2010

“How to deal the angry customer? when he is visiting you personally or he is making a phone call?”

This is a lovely article I found in one of my subscriptions - worth spending time in reading the same.  FOCUS 

Below was the question asked by Waqas....Some interesting answers by experienced people in similar situation....

Spose i am dealing with a person who is very angry with our product or services then what should I do to calm him down and make him to understand my point that why is that thing happend?
Waqas Adnan 
asked on Oct. 19, 2010Flag

Best Answer

John Prpich Owner/Employee, Talent Blueprint
Well first of all, it's not about your point, so you need to get that straight in your mind. The customer isn't angry at you but is upset about the situation, if you can separate the two, you'll be fine.
Everyone will tell you that you should start of by apologizing and that's a good start. I tend to say things like, I'm very sorry that that happened, or, I can certainly understand why you are frustrated about this issue.
Have them explain the issue and do what you can to resolve it. If you try and push back on the customer and tell them that they created the problem, you'll never get anywhere. If you believe that the decision that has to be made requires someone at a higher level to make that decision, then share that information with the customer and connect them with the right person.
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13 Additional Answers

I love the four-part process that Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor follows. I believe it goes something like this:
1) Acknowledge the complaint (put them immediately at ease, and let them know clearly that you're taking them seriously)
2) Apologize for the problem (right or wrong, doesn't matter)
3) Thank them for bringing it to your attention
4) Ask what you can do to make it better
According to Zingerman's, not only does this disarm the vast majority of tense situations, but most of the individuals ask for a solution in #4 that's far less than what you'd be willing to give.
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Joseph Bushey President & CEO, POS World, Inc.
I am a firm believer that anxiety is the enemy we're up against in the vast majority of customer experience failures. Often expectations have been set that aren't met or communication hasn't been timely. That said, your first priority should be to reassure the customer that you would like to help them. Avoid saying "you" and avoid assigning blame. Often you are limited to specific procedures or policies. Calm candor is recommended. Make sure you clearly understand the problem. Make it clear to the customer that you are there to help and that you're sorry that their not satisfied is critical. Even if you don't give them good news and you're working within policies, most people just want the person on the other end of the phone to care. Be courteous, professional and empathetic. There are variables such as what your policies are, what resolutions can be offered or if you should escalate some phone calls.
Best regards,
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Tama DeBoer Network Marketer, Viridian Energy
As soon as the customer knows you are there to help them, that usually starts to bring down their blood pressure for starters.
1. Be a good listener whether face-to-face or over the phone. Listen to what their issue is and apologize.
2. Let them know you will come up with a solution, hopefully to benefit all involved.
3. See if your solution will continue to make them your customer in the future.
Best Regards,
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Todd Hodgen Open Source VOIP Professional, Misiu Systems LLC
When a customer complains to you they bring you an opportunity. It's an opportunity for you to fix the issue that is upsetting them. When they are so angry that the don't complain to you, you have lost them.
Take the opportunity like you would any other - head on. Demonstrate to the customer your deep concern for their satisfaction, ask them for their words for what happened, and be a good listener. Then, give them your humble apology, tell them what you will do to fix the issues, and ask what else they would like to see happen to ensure they are 100% satisfied.
Next, find out how your company is disappointing other customers with the same process, damaged goods, etc. that led to this complaint, and try to keep them from happening.
Opportunity - when it knocks, open the door with open arms! You have everything to lose if you don't.
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Richard Pell Consultant, Human Resource Solutions Plus - HRSP
Strongly agree with listening as the most important first step and avoiding the temptation to interrupt with a solution. That can appear as if you are trying to get rid of the complainant and are not too interested in what they have to say.
Sometimes when a customer complains they are not entirely clear with their explanation of the problem. Listening carefully while looking concerned helps you to get to the bottom of the issue and start to detect how the customer might want the complaint to be resolved.
Avoid stock phrases and really watch out for the correct tone and inflection when responding.
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James Feldman, CITE, CPIM, CPT, MIP Chief Innovation Expert, Synectics Open Solutions, LLC
Angry customers have gotten that way because of the way they are treated. It often starts off small and escalates due to poor communication from the supplier. The more speed bumps the more the frustration. My simple solution is this....
Ask the customer what they want to make them happy. Often they have no answer.
Often the request, when they hear it, is so unreasonable they retract it.
Ask them to solve their own problem and provide the rationale.
Today, customer interaction is what distinguishes good companies from others. I realize that it is costly but it is a cost of doing business. Outsourcing to non english speaking-understanding-tells the customer that their business is not important. Auto answer should only be used for information, routing, etc. I believe in DATING Your Customer.
Dazzle Them
Antipate their needs
Treat them the way you want to be treated
Nurture the relationship
Get more business by having them tell others about the DATE
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Rosanne Dausilio PhD President, Human Technologies Global Inc
The first step for me is to diffuse the upset/anger/frustration. We have what is called LARC.
L isten
A cknowledge what you hear
R espond accordingly
C lose
So listen with an intent to understand; acknowledge the anger. "Wow, I hear how angry you are. Thanks so much for calling or coming in so that we can together work out a solution that works for you." If it's appropriate you can add, "If that happened to me I'd be upset as well." In this way you are taking what starts out as an adversarial situation and makes it a cooperative plight.
What people want more than anything is to be heard, that diffuses any emotion such that you can move onto a more productive interaction.
Next you respond according. Answer the question, resolve the issue, solve the problem, whatever.
And then close with, "Is there any way I can be of further service."
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Darrell McPhaulDirector- Network Operations Center, Meriplex Communications
That was perfect. I run a 24/7 365 Network operation Center and have for close to 25 years.
If you don't mind i would like to add that if the problem is yours or created by you or your company and the client is looking for blood, offer your head on a platter. They won't take it.
However, if you get defensive or make excuses , they are going to want you head the life of the contract.
Follow up, follow up and follow up more.
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Tim Giebelhaus President, Giebelhaus Consulting
There are many good points made already. I want to further emphasize the importance of listening. Often the customer is more angry because of communication than the actual issue. Also, I want to understand what the issue is so that I don't fix something that is not affecting the customer now.
Next, I want to acknowledge what I heard the customer say. I both want to let the customer know I'm listening and make sure I correctly understand the problem. It is always good to apologize; it really is my desire that the customer not have such difficulty and, if nothing else, I can at least be sorry they are experiencing the difficulty.
Then, set clear expectations with the customer. For example, "I'd like to investigate this and make sure I understand the issue with correcting this bug; would it be acceptable to call you at 2:00?"
That gives me the time to work out a plan of how to correct the problem and let the customer know at least the initial corrective action I will take to alleviate the frustration with issues in the future. I might not be able to meet the customer's expectations (such as a bug that requires a module rewrite to correct), but I'm sure to let him know the effort required correct the issue and the company's commitment to address the issue.
If it is something we are going to be able to correct in the short term, we set up regular updates. Ideally, I set the updates spaced enough so that I'm confident I will be able to show progress in every update. If we are looking for the source of a bug, it can be difficult to do and I let the customer know some of the research we had done with each update.
If they have expectations far beyond the product capabilities, I find what we can do for the customer. If possible, I want to find another way using our product for the customer to accomplish the task they have. While it is not what they expected when they bought the product, they appreciate the clear message. That stands the best chance of salvaging the situation.
Often the customer contact has missed their commitment with their management and needs a clear response for their management. I want to make sure they have what they need to be successful with their management.
Successfully handling an issue with an angry customer often makes that customer one of my most devoted customers in the future. They are a more devoted customer than if they had never had an issue to begin with.
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Susan Leighton Project Manager, Citigroup
The main component to any successful negotiation is listening. If you want to get anywhere with an irate individual, LISTEN to what is actually bothering them behind the inflated rhetoric. You can learn to do this by repeating what they tell you and following up with an open ended question about the subject to encourage dialogue.
Another calming technique is to speak very evenly to the person that is angry. By remaining composed, you will be perceived as a professional, reasonable entity. This can also cause the irate party to calm down and become sensible.
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Todd Hodgen Open Source VOIP Professional, Misiu Systems LLC
Realize that when a person is speaking to you, you must listen, but not to just the spoken work. Over 60% of what we say is done so non-verbally. Watch for the non-verbal queues for what is disarming them, position ourselve so you can read these queues, and demonstrate non-verbally your own open communications with them. Your physical demeanor will have more to do with satisfying his/her anger than anything you say.
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James Feldman, CITE, CPIM, CPT, MIP Chief Innovation Expert, Synectics Open Solutions, LLC
If you read the responses there is a clear path of action.
LISTEN...don't talk
ACKNOWLEDGE...don't argue
RESTATE not berate the outcome requested
WALK in their shoes and treat them the way you want to be treated
REMEMBER a satisfied customer may tell no one...
a DISSATISFIED customer will tell everyone
I will say it again. Everyone knows about DATING but let me, respectfully, remind you.
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Julie SchniedersRealtor, Prudential California Realty
In most situations the customer is not upset at you personally but with the situation or the product. You just happen to be the person they can take their frustrations out on at the time. First is to remain calm and not be defensive. If you take it personally and get defensive it will be hard to come up with a solution. Your objective is to solve the problem to the customers satisfaction. So listen, get clear on what the customer's complaint is. The customer may bring up several issues when one may be the real cause of the upset. When you're defensive it's hard to listen and get to the bottom of things. It's not about you unless you make it about you. Come to a resolution that will satisfy your customer, not you. If it becomes personal, bring another person in, to take you out of it, so the issue can be resolved.

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