ANGRY CUSTOMERS IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
Question Regarding Angry Customers
I AM A SERVICE ADVISOR AND I AM UNABLE TO HANDLE HANDLE AN ANGRY CUSTOMER
If I knew more details about your specific situation, I could focus my response a bit better. Not knowing your specific needs, I'll give you some generic Dos and Don’ts on how to handle an angry customer:First the DON'Ts
• Don’t fight or argue back with the customer, the first thing to do is calm them down, so just listen to them, let them vent a little. If you try to stop the venting, you may only exacerbate their anger. So breathe deeply and take the abuse. If the customer goes too far and starts calling you names, feel free to hang up on them.
• Don’t take things personally, you're just a representative for the company that has failed to provide what the customer wants. The customer’s tirades are not aimed directly at you, but at your company. If you take things personally, you may get defensive, which is something you don’t want, the customer will just get angrier if you get defensive.
• Don’t try to resolve a problem before you understand it. Get information from the customer to understand the impact the problem is having on the customer’s life.
As an example, let’s say you’re dealing with a customer that purchased a spare part from you. He requested and paid for expedited shipping. Your company was unable to ship in time and, to make matters worse, it shipped the wrong part. As a result, the customer was unable to get his car repaired in time for a road trip he had planned. At this point, to promise a quick and correct shipment of the part won't repair the damage, because the customer cannot recover the lost time. In the worst of cases, his vacation came and went and he stayed put, because he didn’t have the option to reschedule his vacation or the money to rent a car for the trip. At this point, all you can do is to apologize in the name of your company and ask the customer directly what you can do to make things better.
• Don’t send the customer away to some other rep or to your boss, as tempting as this may be. Rather, go out of your way to handle the situation yourself. Escalate when necessary and as dictated by your company’s customer service procedures.And then the DOs
• Own the problem, put yourself in the angry customer’s shoes and handle the problem as if it was yours. This will have two effects: On one hand you will relate better to the angry customer, and on the other, you will do your best to get his/her problem resolved.
• Solve the customer’s problem, quick and to the point.
• Repair the damage. Many times, this is not possible because the damage may not be quantifiable, but do whatever you can within your authority (and company procedures) to make the customer whole.
• Prevent the problem from happening again. Put in place measures to ensure that the problem doesn’t happen again to any customer. Or at least to this angry customer. Bottom Line
Remember that customers are human, like you and like me, we all prefer to be treated respectfully by the companies we buy things from. Next time you face an angry customer, put yourself in their shoes and treat them like you would like to be treated.