Angry Customers And The Consequences For Your Staff
Unfortunately at some point in our working lives we will all have to deal with an angry customer. Regardless of where the blame lies or the scale of the problem at hand, this can be an unpleasant experience for both employee and consumer. Such situations have the potential to end the business relationship, but with the correct training the problem can always be solved, usually resulting in an empowered employee and a customer with reaffirmed faith in the company.
Consider all consequences not just the obvious ones
Firstly, let’s consider the consequences of failing to deal with an angry customer. The customer themselves is likely to be experiencing stress and anger due to a problem or fault, otherwise they wouldn’t be calling or visiting to begin with. In call centre settings the customer will have likely sat on the phone until a free agent became available, else they may have spent unnecessary time and money travelling to your establishment for a second time. We know that customers are likely to share these experiences with their friends and family, but the situation can have knock-on effects for your staff as well.
The biggest consequence of a failure to deal with an angry customer is the loss of future sales, either from the customer themselves or from those who they have shared their tale of horror with. However, your business could also suffer from the employee stress and anxiety which can result from an inability to solve the situation.
Stress has knock on effects
Stress has been proven to impair cognitive functioning, making it more likely that employees will make mistakes during their everyday work. This could not only be financially costly for your business, but it could even lead to further numbers of angry customers. Extended periods of stress and anxiety could even lead to higher levels of absenteeism, with every business in the United Kingdom already losing an average of 7.6 days per year per employee (according to CIPD). Too much stress can lead to depression, but also a weakened immune system – which opens the body up to a host of illnesses, from the common cold to stomach trouble.
The true cost?
The true cost of failing to deal with an angry customer is clearly worse than we may have first thought. Often regular training will not cover this type of situation, especially in call centres where individuals are often provided with a script or procedure and little else.
Get independent help, they can see clearer
However, dedicated training in how to deal with an angry customer is available from independent business training experts. With such help your employees will learn to diffuse the situation before it escalates, while understanding the source of the problem and making the best of the situation – even if a solution is not immediately obvious.
Third-party training in how to deal with angry customers will often encompass drama-based sessions, where professional actors or other employees will act out the scenarios and situations most relevant to your business. Such preparation will arm your employees with the tools to diffuse and resolve the situation, reducing stress and the overall cost to your business.
Have you considered the true cost of failing to deal with an angry customer? Would you take steps to improve such situations with a drama-based training course?