The holiday season is upon us and everybody’s rushing trying to get their holiday preparations done. There is no doubt that the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for businesses. It can also be the most nerve-wracking as customers get more demanding.
As much as you want to make all your customers happy this season, sometimes unfortunate incidents happen that can make them feel disgruntled and dissatisfied. Here are some ways that you can successfully handle irate customers during the holiday rush.
Keep Calm and Stay Cool
There are times when this is easier said than done especially if the customer is shouting expletives non- stop in your ear. But resist the urge to talk back in anger as well. Not only is this unprofessional and bad customer service, it will also make the customer angrier and you will end up not accomplishing anything. Take a deep breath and remember that the customer is mad because he or she is having a hard time accomplishing a goal, such as having her order delivered on time, for instance. Keeping calm will help you focus on the problem at hand and enable you to be more helpful to the customer.
Listen Before You React
Whatever the problem is, customers just want a chance to be heard so listen to them actively. Don’t immediately jump to conclusions and give solutions without letting them air their grievances first. Let them tell you the whole story so that you can better understand the situation and at the same time figure out the best way you can help them.
Apologize and Show Empathy
Having a better understanding of your customer’s concerns will enable you to empathize with them. Show them that you understand by apologizing sincerely and letting them know that you care about how the problem has negatively affected them. Make sure that your body language also conveys the same message. Once your customers see and feel that you are taking the time to understand them, they will most likely calm down and be more willing to work with you on solving the problem.
Offer a Solution
Take ownership of the problem and let your customer know that you will do what you can to rectify it. Suggest a solution if you think you know exactly what will make your customer happy. If not, ask him or her what you can do to make things right. Fix the problem as soon as possible but in case you can’t, at least let the customer know that you’re making the effort to do so. In order to leave the customer satisfied, get his or her agreement about what solution to take and immediately take action. Make sure the customer is informed of the steps you need to take to solve the problem.
This doesn’t end when you have finally resolved the problem. To make sure the customer is happy with the resolution, follow up with him or her through a phone call or an email during the next few days. Making customers happy means exceeding their expectations. So take the extra steps to do just that.
The holiday rush can be quite challenging in terms of providing excellent customer service. However, if you come prepared with a plan on how to handle angry customers, you can turn things around and ensure that everybody will go home happy.