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5 tactics you can use to deal with angry clients

Written by Fitzpatrick Group • Client Services Manager
Published on 11 Dec 2018

If you have ever had a job where you interact with clients on a regular basis, chances are you have had to deal with an angry client or two. While it’s never a pleasant experience, there are some tips and tricks that can help you resolve the situation with your client and avoid feeling stressed


1. It’s not about you

While it is hard to not take it personally when you have an angry client yelling at you, try to remember that the client is not actually upset with you; they are disappointed with a product or a service that the company you represent provided. It is also not your job to decide if their complaint is reasonable or not, you simply need to help your client feel listened to and help solve the situation.


2. Keep calm and carry on

One of the most important things you can do in this situation is remain calm. It will be tempting to get frustrated or emotional when a client is angry with you but that will only escalate the situation. Your role in this conversation is to calm the client down so you can deal with the reason they called. Try to keep a steady, sympathetic tone while talking to your client.


3. “I’m listening”

An important part of helping your client is making sure they feel that they are being listened to and you will do your best to help resolve their issue. Repeat key facts back to the client, as this shows that you understand what they are saying but also allows you to confirm the facts. Phrases like “I understand, that must have been frustrating” or “That doesn’t seem right, let’s see what we can do to fix this” also shows the client that you empathise with them.


4. Keep it Simple Stupid

Your instinct in these situations will likely be to calm the client down (good) and keep them happy (also good) which can lead to you promising solutions you may not be able to provide (very bad). If it is not an issue you can resolve in the first instance or confidently resolve within a specific timeframe, try to avoid giving your client overly specific details. If you can’t meet the promises you have given your client, they will only become more upset later down the track. However, it is always good practice to give your client a broad timeframe for a solution or response. It is better to say that you will contact them back within three hours and be early than to miss your deadline.


5. Shake it off

Dealing with an angry client is a stressful situation even if you successfully resolve their concern. It is important to take a moment after the conversation to take a few deep breaths, shake off the negative emotions and smile. It’s very easy to become flustered and emotional after a tense interaction, so make sure you allow yourself to acknowledge this and take care of yourself! Make sure you let someone know if the client was aggressive, abusive or threatening – while you are there to serve the customer, this kind of behaviour should never be tolerated.  


Check out another recent blog in this category.

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