How to deal with angry clients

As long as you are in business, you will always deal with angry customers. This experience is enough to drive you crazy if you are not careful. Angry and difficult customers are a major cause of workplace stress, and they eat up huge amounts of your time and the resources of your organization. When I woke up on 14 April 2007, I had my plans in view and would not have thought that the plan would be interrupted.

I had several text messages from angry clients waiting for my attention on my phone. None of the websites we are hosting on Nairahost was accessible. I called my partner and he confirmed my fear. Our license had just been revoked from the data centre that Nairahost uses. Reason? Some clients had carried out fraudulent activities through our server and our data centre could no longer cope with such  activities. I must confess that I was loss for words. I didn’t really know what to do but I encouraged myself in the LORD.

I started receiving calls and SMS from clients who apparently had issue accessing their websites. I tried to ensure that I was polite in my response and at the same show our commitment to bring up the server as soon as possible. I, however, got an SMS from one of our clients who threatened to report me to the police if I fail to bring his website back up within 24 hours. At first, I was surprised that I could receive such text messages but after much thought I really understand that clients can go to any length to get their service.

This is one scenario out of many. I had to deal with several angry clients this past one week. This experience has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I was able to discover that there are a lot of tricks and techniques you can use to deal with an angry customer. When you are faced with an angry customer, you probably assume that the customer wants his or her “problem” fixed. That might be a logical approach but it is not the best. Angry customers expect that you will be able to help them in some concrete way, by meeting their want or need. However, there’s more to the story.

Even when you can “fix” the problem for an angry customer, the person still acts in angry or nasty ways? Why is that? Well, actually angry customers want several things. Yes, they want the problem fixed, but they also want to BE HEARD, TO BE LISTENED TO, and to have their upset and emotional state recognized and acknowledged.

When you are faced with an angry customer, FIRST focus on acknowledging the feelings and upset of the customer. Once the customer starts to calm down as a result of having his or her feelings recognized, THEN move to solving the problem. You’ll find that this will save you a lot of time and energy.

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