Dealing with Angry Customers: Let Them Vent

VENT1 It is pretty sad that I look for (and notice) customer service when I’m scrolling through channels. On Saturday, I happened to scroll past a show about wedding dressed. The woman works in alterations for a big wedding store and deals with a lot of customers who are often very testy to say the least.

Her strategy for resolving issues with angry customers?

  1. Let the customer vent and ask all the questions they need to ask.
  2. Get to the bottom of the problem.
  3. Try to come to a resolution.

The lady’s strategy is not only time tested and proven effective, but smart. Letting customers vent is extremely important. It is the best way to deal with angry customers.

I usually like to initiate the venting by asking questions like: could you describe the problem? or could you tell me what you think should have happened and what actually did happen? You will also find that a lot of the time the customer will just start venting (without any help from you).

Letting customers vent is a subtle science. There is a fine line between actually letting them vent and just thinking you are letting them vent. A lot of customer service representatives (and their bosses) want to interrupt customers while they’re venting – this doesn’t work.

Part number two is just as important as letting the customer vent. Once they’ve finished venting, your job is to get to the bottom of the problem. You need to figure out what their actual problem is and why it happened. You don’t want to make excuses, but instead want to work towards a resolution of some sort.

Remember, let the customer vent and always be working towards a resolution. Do those two things and you’ll be dealing with angry customers like a pro.

2 Responses to “Dealing with Angry Customers: Let Them Vent”

  1. Ankit Gupta said:

    Nov 08, 07 at 3:06 pm

    Giving people an opportunity to relieve their frustration is very important, even if it’s just for their own ego. As a business, we’re on the other side of the table, and should realize this. If a person wants to display their frustration, let them do so, but then find a solution.

  2. Service Untitled said:

    Nov 08, 07 at 7:25 pm

    Ankit,

    Exactly. Letting people put their problems on the table is necessary to working towards a resolution. You have to get the customer calm before you can actually resolve any issues.