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6 Ways to Effectively Respond to an Angry Customer

1. Listen actively. Let the angry customer tell his/her story without interruption, focus on the customer (don’t look at your watch, phone, computer, or other people), and ensure your facial expression, body language, and tone of voice demonstrates that you understand that the customer is upset. This doesn’t mean you have to get upset too – just don’t smile at customers while they are telling you how angry they are.

2. Repeat what the customer said, using as similar language as possible. For example, “You were told on the phone that we have the item in stock and you’re frustrated because it is not here as promised.”

3. Apologize even when it’s not your fault. “I’m really sorry that the item is not here.”

4. Present a solution or ask the customer what they would like to do to resolve the situation. “I can check with our other stores and see if they have a similar item if you would like me to.”

5. Take action and follow up. “Our store in Tehachapi has a similar item and we can have it in our store tomorrow for you.”

6. End on a positive note. “I’m sorry again for the inconvenience. I’ll call you as soon as we receive the item, and we’ll put it in the store room with your name on it to ensure it’s here when you arrive.”

Disclaimer: The information and resources provided herein are not a substitute for experienced legal counsel and does not constitute legal advice or attempt to address the numerous factual issues that inevitably arise in any employment-related dispute. Although this information attempts to cover some major recent developments, it is not all-inclusive, and any recommendations are based upon HR best practices and procedures. We recommend you consult an attorney for legal guidance.

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