A simple trick to deal with angry customers

No matter what type of organisation we work for, nearly everyone has to deal with an angry or difficult customer at some point in our working lives. Anger manifests itself in various forms. At a low level it could could just be sarcastic remarks, minor rudeness, or a disagreement over prices, delivery dates, or the specification for a product.
But sometimes the anger can be more disconcerting and include things like outright hostility, shouting, swearing, aggressive body language, or even threats of violence.
So if you're in a customer service situation and you are faced with an angry customer, or a customer who looks like they could become angry, what should you do?
Here is a quick and easy acronym to remember when you are faced with a customer who is getting angry. Obviously there is much more to the subject of dealing with difficult customers than simply remembering an acronym. But this quick four-word reminder is useful to take the HEAT out of the situation if things start to get out of hand.
Actively listen to the customer's grievance.
Empathise with the customer by showing that you understand how they feel.
Apologise to the customer for their distress.
Take ownership
Accept that there is a problem, and show that you are going to do something about it.
Dealing with difficult customers is a massive problem these days across all business sectors. The Editor of this blog Darren Bugg has devised an innovative half-day course to help organisations to train their staff in dealing with difficult customers and how to turn challenging customer service situations into OPPORTUNITIES to increase profit and develop customer loyalty. The course is run in-house across the UK. Click here for more details. 

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