Dealing with angry customers – and making them happy

By 29th November 2018 February 5th, 2020 No Comments

Dealing with angry customers is a big challenge. When people are unsatisfied they can get pretty unpredictable. Some can scream at you, try to get to you personally or just be unhelpful.

As a Helpdesk professional, you must be prepared for this kind of situation. Although your company exists to provide the best experience possible, sometimes small issues can impact clients’ lives in so many different ways. This is why customer support is so important. We all want clients to use our product/service in the best way possible.

So be prepared to deal with these unhappy customers, but also take the next step and provide a solution that would make your clients happier.

If you want to improve your customer service, take a look and check which one of the tips below is the most useful for your relationship with clients.

Keep calm

angry customersSome clients may seem like experts when it comes to making other people feel angry too — sometimes it is contagious —, but you must show you’re better than that by staying calm.

Remember that besides anything they’re saying, the issue your client has is with the company, not personally with you, so don’t take it in and just help them out with whatever issue they have.

Chances are that when you remain calm, the difficult customer will lower the voice, and feel less angry.

If you already work with customer support, you probably knew this one already, but if you’re starting it out, don’t worry, you’ll get a thicker skin about that.

Pay attention to the tone of your voice 

Angry customers get quite sensitive to anything that could happen during the call, including your voice. So make sure you’re remaining something between neutral and happy to help. By doing so, you’ll gain your client’s trust and after a few minutes, they will feel more likely to calm down as well.

Calmness and tone of voice might not seem so important, but they are true keys to success. So always pay attention to what you’re doing.

Listen to your angry customers

When a client is unhappy, you should also make sure they feel heard. Actively listen and reply to them patiently. Don’t rush to answer if they are in the middle of a long monologue. Yet they talk and listen actively by making agreement sounds, like “hmmm” and “I see”.

According to Forbes, another important aspect of it is summarizing what they have said after they finish. It makes you sound more trustworthy and helps to calm them down.

Then make all the questions you want to make. Clarifying communication is extremely important to build a better relationship from this point on.

If you and your client are face to face (in person, or the video), make sure to make eye contact and don’t cross your arms. Keeping an open body language is also extremely helpful.

Show empathy for their issue

Empathy makes an outstanding difference in customer support. It truly separates who knows what they’re doing from everyone else.

There are many different ways you can show empathy:

  • Talk about other clients that had similar issues;
  • Talk about how people in the same situation solved it;
  • Talk about what you would do in their scenario;
  • Use cases from other companies to build your own.

Also, know a little bit about who you’re talking to. Some people want to go straight to the point, while others prefer chit-chatting a little bit. When you know your clients and also know what are the expectations they have, it makes half of the hard work for you, so take some time to learn about them and have this information organized.

Call their name

According to an interview conducted by The Muse website, calling clients by their name creates a relationship of proximity, so clients understand they’re talking to a real person.

Using terms like “sir” and “ma’am” makes the conversation feel too formal, and formality doesn’t help in this kind of situation. By using “Ok, Mark. I’ll get this information for you in one second”, you’re making your work easier for the rest of your contact.

However, pay attention to keep your tone respectful. Using the client’s names can be tricky. You don’t want it to seem like you are too close to them.

Apologize professionally

Whether your client has a reason or not, make sure you apologize for the situation. Remember that one wanted to be in a conversation about issues. Everybody expected the product/service to work flawlessly, so it’s still an inconvenience.

You don’t need a long apology, though. A simple “I am sorry you’re going through this issue”, or “I’m sorry you’re not happy with our solution” are enough.

It might have seemed unnoticed from you, but a good apology makes clients more loyal to companies, so don’t take it for granted.

Find a solution 

Finally, a tip that seems very obvious, but isn’t necessarily. Finding the solution for your call/conversation isn’t always the ultimate solution.

For instance, sometimes it might take a few days, or depends on someone else to resolve the situation. You must make sure your client understands about what are the next steps, who are responsible to take these steps and what should be their expectations.

It’ll lead your company to smarter clients, who will understand more about what can be done and how to improve your work.


Talking to angry customers is never easy, but try out these techniques and then share with us in the comments below which one has helped you more.

To keep clients happy, always think about how you and your team can improve the product/service you provide. People change all the time, and so does the market.

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Samantha Anacleto

Author Samantha Anacleto

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