There is a popular chinese proverb that says that ” anyone who cannot smile should never open a shop”. This is true for any form of service provided to the public. Be you a consultant, a store owner, a corporate worker or an executive. You have to learn and master the skills needed to effectively diffuse angry customer situations. When confronted by an angry or dissatisfied customer, how you handle the situation will help make or mar the relationship. Here are usefull tips;

1. Keep your cool. You don’t  want to aggravate an already tense situation by getting visibly angry at the customer. If a customer calls on phone and starts screaming or yelling  about how terrible your service is to him or her, your best reaction should be silence, keep your cool,  don’t loose it by  yelling back or start an argument, you will never get to the bottom of the actual reason the customer sounded so upset and there is absolutely no good in winning an argument with a customer and loosing their business.

2. Ask questions to get clarifications. The next thing to do is to ask the customer more questions in order to uncover more of the reasons for the negative experience. Don’t jump to conclusions or get defensive as that will only fuel the already volatile situation. Be sure you ask direct questions, avoid any form of sarcasm, be genuine.

3. Listen- When a customer or client calls or visits your place of business to complain, this is the time you have to turn your active listening skills on. Watch the body language and pay close  and undivided  attention to what they are saying. You need to get a full understanding of what the issues is in order to address it properly. if you like , you can jot down as much information as you can grasp from the conversation.

4. Don’t personalize the interaction- Avoid taking it personal, do not take it as attack on your person. Taking things personal may becloud your reasoning and limit your ability to address the situation in a rational fashion. Always have it in mind that the fact that a client complains of how bad your service is does not necessarily imply that they hate your person. If they do, they will not do business with you in the first place. The key is , do not take things personal and do not allow your ego to come in.

5. Know when to disengage- You must learn the art of ending the conversation on a good note, especially when the client keep rambling on. Resist the temptation to keep talking back and forth. Respectively disconnect once you have all the facts needed for you to address the complaint. Going on and on will only help to complicate matters.

6 Finally, let your customer have the last word. Do not be the one to have the last word except to thank them for their time and for bringing the situation to your attention. And if you are in the position to make the final comment or statement, be wary of making defensive statements, this might make the angry customer to flare back and that will ruin all the good work you have been doing.