One of the most difficult situations that a professional encounter is communicating with an angry customer. Managing conflict requires patience, determination, and creativity. Here I will show you a few strategies to apply the next time you are in this situation.
The most important thing in this process is knowing how to listen. Listen carefully, only interrupting to ask clarifying questions. Do not try to justify what happened, even if the client is wrong, listen before trying to make him/her understand.
Also, be empathetic, try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Saying things like “I’m sorry you are going through that” and “I understand your frustration” will help de-escalate the situation. Apologizing also helps. The client does not have to be right for you to apologize on behalf of the company, or the service they received.
Once you have listened and you understand the client’s needs, paraphrase what he/she told you. That is, explain to him/her what you understood. This will help the client to clarify any missed points and know that you heard them. We all have the need to be heard and once this need is satisfied, we are open to communication.
Finally, offer solutions based on the client’s needs and your possibilities. Do not promise anything you cannot deliver. Make sure you are clear and specific about the actions you will take and how you will follow up on their complaint and do it. Remember that you can lose more potential clients due to an angry customer, than receive new clients by referrals. Learn from each complaint and handle it like a professional and you will be successful.
Real Estate Investor