No matter how hard you strive for perfection and no matter how willing you are to right any perceived wrongs, someone, at least one person, will still get super pissed eventually. It’s just the way it goes. So as we’ve heard all across pop culture; if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready. So here’s some steps for when it happens, AND IT WILL HAPPEN, so that you can soothe that angry person or at least prevent them from assaulting you.
The first thing of vital importance is to keep your emotions out of it. You don’t need two emotionally charged humans participating in a heated conversation. As the professional in the situation, what matters most is your bottom line, not being “right” in all instances. Watch your tone, speak slowly and softly. Remember that the customer often isn’t attacking you personally.
Listen intently to what they’re saying and read between the lines just a little. Highly upset people can easily become irrational and lose sight of the core reason they were ever angry in the first place. Listen to what they’re telling you the problem is then clarify it by saying something such as, “to make sure I understand the issue…”. Most issues are the result of miscommunicated expectations.
Aside from the problem fixed and sometimes even instead of the problem fixed, people just want to feel heard. They want to hear something like, “No, you’re totally right. This should not have happened. Your reaction is valid and I’m here to make it right.”
Use power words. Your goal is regain the trust and retain the patronage of each client and customer you have. You don’t want to lose them over a misunderstanding. The angrier they are, the more people they will take down with the,. Gain their trust through power words. Instead of saying “I can help you” which they’ve heard a millions time before; a promise that has often been broken, say something like, “I’ve been empowered with the tools needed to solve your issue and we will get this resolved immediately.” Say those two statements aloud and just bask in the different energies they both give off.
Put yourself in their shoes. Aside from being a business owner, you are likely someones client and someones patient and someone’s customer as well. What is it that you’re searching for in similar situations ? How would you like to be talked to or treated ? Treat the customer how you’d like to be treated.