How to Handle Angry Customers [Infographic]

Customers might get angry for a variety of reasons, some justified, some not. Whether they confront you face-to-face, over the phone or in Live Chat, you are likely to encounter frustration, aggressiveness, irritation and very little patience. Handling such customers is one of the most difficult, stressful and challenging parts of the customer service job.

While unhappy customers tend to spread their negative experiences through word-of-mouth, online customer reviews and comments in social media channels, it can really hurt your brand’s reputation and even lead to revenue loss. On the other hand, the right response to a customer complaint can actually turn those unsatisfied customers into your loyal fans.

Check our Infographic with 10 simple tips on how to handle angry and rude customers effectively and 10 great quotes to remember when dealing with them. Have something to add? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

How to Handle Angry Customers

How to Handle Angry Customers

If you would like to share this infographics on your blog or website, just copy the following code and paste it into your webpage source.

<a href="http://www.providesupport.com/blog/handle-angry-customers-infographic/"> 
<img src="http://www.providesupport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/How_to_handle_angry_customers_Infographic.png" 
alt="How to Handle Angry Customers [Inforgrafic from Provide Support]" width="700" height="3280" border="0" /></a> 
<p>From: <a href="http://www.providesupport.com/">www.providesupport.com</a></p>

Enjoy!

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Mary Shulzhenko

Assistant Marketing Director at Provide Support, LLC
Mary is an Assistant Marketing Director at Provide Support, LLC. She is a writer and blogger on customer service, customer support and customer experience.
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Mary is an Assistant Marketing Director at Provide Support, LLC. She is a writer and blogger on customer service, customer support and customer experience.

29 Responses to How to Handle Angry Customers [Infographic]

  1. Shep Hyken says:

    This great infographic provides both the “why” and the “how to.” The stats make the case and make the case for why you can’t afford to ignore an angry customer. (And, just as important, why you should try and find them!) The ten tactics listed are simple reminders about how to get that angry or complaining customer back on track.

    Also, I appreciate being quoted – thank you, I’m flattered. We should give credit for that concept to Ted Levitt, professor at Harvard Business School. He actually said that the “function” of the business was to get and keep customers. While he was talking more about customer loyalty, no doubt that similar words apply to winning back the confidence of the complaining customer.

    • Mary Shulzhenko says:

      Thank you Shep, I’m really glad you liked the Infographic!

      At our company, we’ve been making all efforts to help our customers provide outstanding customer service and prevent their clients from becoming angry.

  2. Jeff Staton says:

    I am a big fan of Sally Gronow’s quote.

    Bad customer service is like an additional invoice, an added expense that hits the bottom line of a business. I truly believe if business owners and customer service professional recognized how expensive it is to not satisfy as many customer as possible, they would add a CRX line to their P&L.

    Great article!

    • Mary Shulzhenko says:

      Thank you Jeff, I love and totally support that quote too. Bad customer service might lead to additional expenses and losses that could have been avoided with a better customer service.

  3. This is very good but dont forget: the nr1. In customer service “Do not f…. up in the first place” og more calmly said: ” do it right at once according to customer expectation”. This leads me to three major areas that has to be in place before you are ready to do business:
    1) Make the correct product and or service according to the marked need or available spot in the marked.
    2) Tell them what you can deliver no more and no less. Then deliver that no matter what with a smile, smooth, with style and no fuzz.
    3) Organize and train to the point you are ready to deliver over and over according to customer expectations.

    • Mary Shulzhenko says:

      Thank you Stian, those are really great points that all business owners should keep in mind not only before starting a business but also while running it!

  4. Linda Sweet says:

    Thank you so much, this information could not have come at a better time for me. It’s that staying positive when you keep getting knocked down. Thanks again.

  5. Gong says:

    This is awesome!!!

  6. Margaret says:

    These are all great points and I can only think of one other – you have about 15 seconds to complete item 1. Once the customer believes you care about them and their problem, they will be more patient but if you don’t make that connection quickly, you can lose them.

    • Mary Shulzhenko says:

      Thank you Margaret, I agree, the most important thing is to make a positive connection with a customer from the very start.

  7. Great post! Been reading a lot about improving customer service. Thanks for the info here!

  8. Christopher M Maluva says:

    One day i was confronted by a guest whose room was not cleaned since morning as she had put a no disturb sign on her door nob,i listened to her very keenly and at end took charge of supervising her room to be cleaned by the house keeping personel,though she was furious and abusive,i apologised to her and was there assisting the house keeper to make her room.
    The following day she came for the breakfast and apologised to me for what she said that night,telling me she didnt know if i was the Night Manager but i told her, i was doing my job,her satisfactory is my archivement,from that date we became friends and she used to tell my colleques how i made her room that she could not believe a Night Manager could that.she stayed with hotel for one month.
    So this is to say,listen,apologise and satisfy your customer by taking charge of whatever he or she is complaining about.

  9. Christopher M Maluva says:

    This is a helping space

    • Abiola Oluyide says:

      Thank you Christopher for the scenario,but what still remains quite unclear is when a Client becomes abusive how do you remain professionally assertive in such a manner that you are not bullied or demeaned in the process of delivering exceptional Customer Service because at the end of the day we should all be mutually respectful.
      What are your insights on this Mary?

      • Mary Shulzhenko says:

        Thank you Abiola, that is a very important, yet a tricky question. I think that when dealing with abusive customers you need to make it clear to them that you are willing to help but will only solve their problem if the language they use is appropriate. If the customer is still completely out of control, the best you can do is to end the conversation.

  10. Umesh Rajkarnikar says:

    This is really helpful… I do come up with lots of unsatisfied customers in my restaurant.. My dad has made a terrible mistakes during his days giving more than 10 % sometimes even goes up to 20% discounts on the total bill.. I try to convince one of my customers politely that it is no more feasible enough for me to provide any discounts,plus we do not charge them any service charge or tax.. The next day i saw him going to my competitor.. I wonder how to satisfy those customers.. Any suggestions would be appreciated..

    • Mary Shulzhenko says:

      Thank you Umesh. I think that in the restaurant business you simply can’t satisfy all your customers. There will always be those looking for something more. And if you can’t give them that more, just let them go.

  11. Bukola Oyeyiola says:

    Thank you so much Mary for the tips. They are quite helpful but I have a thing about No. 4 (ask more questions to really understand the problem) some guests get more angry when you try to find out get more information from them and it takes the situation totally out of your control. What does one do in such situations.

    • Mary Shulzhenko says:

      Thank you for the question, Bukola. I would try to explain them (before asking any questions), that I am totally on their side and I really want to help and solve their problem as quickly as possible, and for that I would need some additional information. In other words, show them a caring attitude and your genuine willingness to help.

  12. Rob Marks says:

    Thanks for creating this infographic as well for giving permission to share it. I think your advice will benefit some of our customers. This IS one of the most challenging aspects of customer service and your advice is solid. As a big fan of good quotations, the 10 quotes are a nice bonus touch.

  13. Richard Barr says:

    In a previous government career, I dealt with irate citizens on a daily basis. The rules listed here are spot on. But, there are two other things to keep in mind. The customer may be angry about something other than what they’re verbalizing, but thry can[‘t reach the source of their frustration and transfer their anger to you. Caareful questioning can reach the true cause of their anger and will give you a chance to resolve it. There are also some people who cannot be pacified. I learned through experience that these people often have complaints about everybody. In short, they create their own misery. These folks are not worth your distress. Do the best you can and move.on.

    • Mary Shulzhenko says:

      Thank you Richard. You’re right about those types of angry customers, and unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about them.

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