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Handling Angry Customers

February 28, 2012

By Bob Cooper

You may be surprised to hear it, but when your customers are angry with you it has nothing to do with their vehicles not being done on time, the problems with their cars not being resolved, etc. Usually the reason your customers get angry is because they feel they’ve been taken advantage of, or they’ve made the wrong decision in choosing you. That’s also when, just like you and I, they’ll begin to feel either stupid or foolish, and their emotions of fear and anger will begin to take over. These emotions, designed to protect us, are so powerful that they have the ability to override our logic as well as our better judgment. Simply put, emotions can take complete control of our mind and our behavior. That’s why after a burst of anger, people will often say, “I’m so sorry - I must have lost my head!” Well, that’s exactly what has happened. Their conscious mind was “high-jacked” by their emotions.

So when you’re dealing with angry customers, do this … As soon as you’re confronted, remind yourself that the customer’s mind has been high-jacked, so let them vent, and whatever you do, don’t interrupt. Once they’ve calmed down, don’t try to defend your actions. Instead, acknowledge their concerns, let them know you understand why they feel the way they do, and then tell them what you are going to do to resolve their concerns.

Once you’ve solved the problem, discuss any follow-up that may be required, apologize again and then thank them for sharing their concerns with you. Apply this principle and you’ll be amazed at how angry people will not only typically apologize, but they’ll become lifelong customers.

For additional help improving customer retention and increasing your CSI scores, learn more about Bob Cooper’s upcoming Masters Service Advisor Training Course.  


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