Inside this article
Knowing how to deal with angry customers isn’t something you are born with. However, caring about customer satisfaction is an essential part of building a successful eCommerce business.
How you decide to treat your customers will largely depend on your business, branding style, and what your customers are like.
Knowing how your business operates and how to communicate with your customers is easier once you know their age, gender, level of education, interests, and needs.
When you know what customers expect, it becomes more manageable to deal with angry customers. You can start by applying some of the tips below.
The importance of handling angry customers correctly
If you have a business, it’s near impossible to avoid dealing with angry customers. Effectively handling them enables you to minimize the damage they can do.
If you don’t, you won’t only risk losing that customer, but you may also receive bad feedback and a negative reputation that can lead to issues when trying to attract new buyers.
Using what could have been a reputational disaster as an opportunity to build stronger customer relations can also be beneficial because of the valuable information it can bring. Uncovering unnoticed problems can ease the process of providing a better customer experience.
9 steps for handling angry or upset customers
1. Calm them down
Whenever a problem arises, the typical reaction is to get nervous and/or angry. The best way to approach angry customers? By acknowledging what the problem is and offering a satisfactory solution.
Recognise the impact the problem has on your customer and to what extent you are to blame. To calm down angry customers, you can use phrases such as:
“We are sorry that you find yourself in this situation. To better understand the problem and provide a fast solution to the issue, please provide us with the following details…”
“Unfortunately, the arrival of the parcel is delayed. We can offer you a 25% code on your next purchase for the inconvenience. Remember that you can process the return in an autonomous manner and we will refund the amount.”
In a nutshell, to improve customer relations, it’s fundamental to calm down angry customers. Otherwise, emotions can get in the way of managing and solving queries.
2. Be patient
It can be the case that customers don’t know what the problem is. In fact, some customers may even think there’s an issue when there really is no problem. This can be caused by a lack of product knowledge, poor product design, or employing the wrong marketing strategy.
Put yourself in the customer's shoes. Be patient and explain, as simply as possible, what the issue is (if there is one). Use all the feedback from angry customers to find possible points of improvement in the eCommerce customer experience.
3. Don’t fight the customer
As human beings, it’s natural that in the face of conflict, our responses become more defensive than friendly. However, this can be prevented by keeping in mind that the problem isn’t personally yours.
The focus should be on solving the buyer's problem. Fighting angry customers will only cause frustration in your customer support team, delaying the resolution of queries and preventing your online store from having satisfied customers.
To avoid an endless fight with angry customers, you can use some of the phrases that we’ve already shared to calm customers, or create your own answers to common problems and questions with the specific characteristics of your business and products in mind.
4. Personalize customer communications
Another way to offer good customer service is by personalizing customer communications, whether support is provided via emails, phone, social media networks, or chatbots.
To personalize customer communications, you’ll need tools to obtain, store, and process buyers’ information. For instance, you can keep a record of what the customer saw, bought, added to the cart, and returned, or what their preferences are —this will give you a clearer vision of what your buyers like.
Once you have this information, personalizing the messages according to the buyer profile and calming down angry customers is a much easier task.
One of the tools you can use to personalize the communication with customers is Outvio. Our post-checkout infrastructure helps you automate and streamline all the tasks that take place after the sale with the sole purpose of making you grow and foster customer loyalty.
5. Offer fast and gratifying solutions
If you want to maximize customer service resources, increase your number of satisfied customers, and boost productivity in the CS department, constantly measuring the most important eCommerce KPIs and creating processes is the first step towards reducing the number of angry customers and learning how to deal with them.
The average response time, average time for a resolution, and the average first-response time are extremely important KPIs to track in any eCommerce business.
If an angry customer receives a satisfactory, fast, and professional response, it is much easier to turn the buyer into a satisfied customer who values your brand and the eCommerce customer experience you offer. They could potentially even become a loyal customer and act as a brand ambassador for your business and products.
6. Listen to difficult customers and learn from them
As we mentioned before, listening to the questions and complaints from angry customers can help you understand flaws in the product promotion process, whether the issues are related to product pages, ads, or social media publications.
Perhaps there’s something to fix in the product formulation or manufacturing process, the packaging, the price, or the way you pack and ship orders.
Whatever the reason may be, gathering feedback and using it to find points of improvement and weaknesses will help you improve existing products and develop new ideas with a lower chance of failure, increasing the number of satisfied customers in the future.
7. Show security
Another relevant factor when we talk about the management of queries is expressing security during customer communications.
To do this, the eCommerce customer service team must have the skills to manage the stress and anger of customers professionally, and have in-depth knowledge of the products and services that the online store sells.
In addition to this, it is important that the agent in charge of the query or complaint is firm, but understanding. This creates an environment in which the customer, dissatisfied or angry, will trust the online store and the way issues are managed. This considerably improves the eCommerce customer experience in the eyes of the consumer.
8. Get familiar with frequent queries and identify them
Delivering quick responses that resolve customer queries and issues should be your support team's priority.
To do this, a highly recommended practice is to create a database for internal usewith common questions and answers, and information about how to solve frequent problems reported by buyers.
Here is an example of a response to a customer complaint about the arrival of a broken product:
“Hello, in order to solve the issue, please provide us with images of how the parcel arrived and your order number. Once this information is validated, we will refund you the corresponding amount or ship you the products again at no cost.”
9. Track issue management and resolution
If you want your eCommerce customer service department to work at full capacity, it is essential that you establish the most important eCommerce KPIs for your business and track them to ensure the team meets their goals, and that the number of dissatisfied customers decreases each day.
You can start by counting how many issues your team manages and solves, how long it takes, how many messages they must exchange before the problem is solved, and reviewing the net promoter score (NPS) & other customer satisfaction-related KPIs.
Once you have decided which KPIs you want to measure, decide how often you will review the results. This will vary depending on the sector and size of your business, and you may review the team's results and how they serve angry or dissatisfied customers on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.
How to convert an unpleasant experience into a happy customer
If you run an online store, Outvio can help you automate the resolution of shipping issues affecting online orders, deliveries, and problems with customs, among other things.
This advanced platform provides a central point of communication between online stores, couriers, and customers, speeding up the handling of incidents and transforming upset customers into loyal buyers.
Sign up to Outvio and transform unhappy customers into loyal buyers.
As an online store, it’s impossible to completely prevent dissatisfied or angry customers.
However, knowing how to calm a dissatisfied customer and turn the situation around is an asset that can be very advantageous for any eCommerce business that seeks long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty.
With these tips, it will surely be easier for the eCommerce customer service team to carry out more efficient and satisfactory issue management for all parties.