I had an interesting conversation a few days ago with one of my sales rep and my responsible for after sales service.
It was about how to react in front of an angry customer.
The first one, the sales reps, argued that you can't do anything until the customer calms down. So his "technic" is to let him scream and "empty his bag" before saying anything. Then he would say something like : "I understand you are unhappy, etc ...". His point of view is : "the customer needs it, so lets give him this opportunity".
The second one, the aftersales guy, says he never let the customer go too far. He would stay calm, use a very low tone (so the angry guy can't hear him anymore if he continues to scream) and would give counter arguments. He does that because he had the experience that if you don't stop him, the other guy will always go "too far".
While I firstly thought the sales guy was right, I must admit that he is very much less respected by the customers that the aftersales guy. It seems that if you do not clearly show the customer there is a limit he cannot cross, it is very difficult to gain his respect back.
This sales guy very often gets the angry customers as if they have detected he was the right guy to call when you need to "pass your nerves" on someone! Of course I don't agree with that. This harms the company.
It happened to me twice to be insulted by a customer on the phone. Each time I did the same : I told them "I am sorry I cannot let you insult me or my company. I will cut the communication now and I will be at your office within x hours". Each time it was a success and both those customers rated our company as their best supplier in a recent study !
Can you share your experience?
Any advice on this topic? Any books or articles?
What is your attitude in front of an angry customer?
Thanks a lot.