Anyone who has ever worked in the customer service industry can tell you the number one dreaded customer interaction of all: the angry customer.
Part of being an effective manager, is knowing how to properly deal with the occasional upset customer. I have put together the following tips based on years of experience, both working in customer service related jobs, and occasionally being an angry customer. I’ll begin with telling you about an incident I had a few days ago, which actually sparked the idea for this article.
The other day, my wife and I, while attending a large equestrian event, stopped by the vending booths around lunch time to get something to eat. Amongst the various food vendors that lined the area, was one set up by a local noodle shop in Whitefish MT — who shall remain unnamed — that my wife and I had been wanting to try for quite some time. We had heard lots of great reviews of the place, and their noodles looked and smelled AMAZING!
We ordered something they called a “Stinger,” which was supposed to be spicy noodles with chicken and vegetables, that cost $9.00 each. Well, apparently they were almost out of those, so instead of saying “I’m sorry, we’re out of those ones” or “would you mind waiting a little bit while we make more?”, the woman at the counter simply added more plain noodles (about 8x what was left in their previous batch) and mixed them in, without adding more sauce or vegetables. Needless to say, they tasted terrible (think ramen noodles without the seasoning packet, and just a little hint of pepper.)
Two bites later, not wanting to make a scene in front of their large line of customers, I ordered a cheeseburger next door, and after making sure the noodle vendor was looking, dumped my entire box of noodles in the trash in front of her before walking away. Later that afternoon when we returned home, I left a less than favorable review on their facebook page – a tactic that normally works quite well to resolve a problem. That is IF the business has good management.
Here’s what happened next: Instead of issuing an apology, or offering to make it up to us by refunding our money or comping us a meal at their restaurant (as I did not get what I paid for,) they deleted my comment, did a search on me, found this site, and made a backhanded jab at me through a comment left on one of my articles.
Now, let’s do a breakdown of where they went wrong.