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How to successfully deal with angry customers, part 2 of 2

Renovation Contractor

Yesterday we ran part one of this two-part column on dealing with online trolls and angry clients. Here’s the second half.

By Jeff Mowatt

Yesterday we ran part one of this two-part column on dealing with online trolls and angry clients. Here’s the second half.

Why are customers ruder on the phone than in person?

Anonymity. Like road-raging drivers in cars, people phoning in think they won’t be recognized. That’s why it’s important to begin the phone conversation by introducing yourself with your first and last name. Then immediately ask them for their name. The quicker they identify themselves the less likely they’ll become abusive.



What are other strategies for dealing with upset customers?

Tone it down – literally. By slowing your rate of speech and slightly lowering your voice tone, you sound less emotional and more rational. Speaking of speaking, don’t dumb down your language or use filler words: kinda, sorta, like, ya know. The more articulate you are, the more intelligent you’ll be perceived to be, and the more respect you garner.

How can I get my staff to really care about unhappy customers?

Begin by hiring people who have some history in caring for others. Check if they volunteered or played on sports teams; indicating they’ve learned to work with others, and it isn’t always about them. Then provide them with proper customer communication training. Fortunately, employees don’t have to become proverbial bleeding hearts to effectively resolve customer concerns. They do, however, need to learn techniques to put customers’ minds at ease. Contrast for example, when an untrained employee says, “I’ll deal with it,” versus, after we train them, employees instead say, “I’ll take care of it for you.” By simply changing a few words, service providers create better feelings for everyone.

The bottom line

By equipping employees with the proper customer service training, you end up with less staff turnover and fewer social media comments that bruise your brand. Best of all, employees discover that when you learn how to recover trust with unhappy customers, those formerly angry bruins can actually become teddy bears.

This article is based on the bestselling book, Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month, by motivational speaker, Jeff Mowatt. For more information, visit


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