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How To Deal With Rude Customers At Work

Updated on February 4, 2014

Being a customer service executive has its share of ill at times and by knowing how to deal with rude customers at work, it can make your job so much easier. One of these moments is dealing with a customer who is annoyed, angry or is just being plain rude. As a customer service person, you cannot really afford to lose your calm in such situations. You need to be calm and resolve whatever issue the person seems to be having without making the person irked up any further. Also, such customers may often be a value add to your services, as they may be able to point out the flaws in your business or service that you might have overlooked and thereby make it better. But for all this to happen, first you need to be able to deal with the person well. Given below are some tips on dealing with such customers.

Never take it personally

When a customer is being rude or is yelling at you angrily, it is very easy to give in to your first instinct of feeling insulted and yell right back. This is not at all the ideal situation and all it will do is make the situation even worse. The moment you lose your cool, it will just make your customer even angrier and the situation will backfire without any chance of being resolved. Hence, the first thing to realize is that the customer is not being rude to you because he or she has an issue with you. They are just displeased with a product or service that has been provided to them. Adopting this perspective will help you remain calm in this situation and deal with it better.

Ask them if everything is ok

Suppose a customer comes to the desk with a grumpy attitude or seems a bit annoyed. Ask them if they need help finding anything or even how their day is. This makes them feel like you care and they will feel at ease. You never know if a customer is grumpy just because they can’t find their favorite bag of chips. They drove to two stores already and still can’t find it. Heck, I’d be grumpy too!

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Communicate effectively with any rude customers at work

You might be someone who absolutely hates arguments and therefore, you tend to hide behind your register or even dart in the other direction upon seeing a customer coming. Don’t be afraid of people. This is how you learn to better communicate with customers. You need to voice solutions and also explain what cannot be done in terms of service. For example, if you work at a gas station at guy is yelling at you because he wants his scratchers ticket checked at 3am (scratchers machines don’t open until 8am usually and close at 2am) then tell him why you can’t check it for him. All you really need to say is “Sorry Sir, I’d check for you but unfortunately the scratchers machines doesn’t open until 8A.M.” Tell him to come back at that time to check.

Listen with patience

The key to toning down an angry customer is in making him feel that he is being listened to. As a customer care executive, your work itself is in being a good listener to your customer. Hence, the first tactic in dealing with such angry customers is in being a patient listener and letting them vent out their issues as much as possible. Once the initial venting out is done, the customer will be in a better shape to listen to what you have to suggest or offer.

Smile and nod to rude customers at work

It may seem like that when they are talking, all you hear is a bunch of “babble” or non-sense about something that isn’t very important. Just smile and nod. This can really calm down an angry person. A smile can make someone feel calm. Just think of it this way… what if you started yelling at them instead? Things will become heated and the situation won’t be as pleasant as those who offer a smile.

Apologize to them

The next step in dealing with angry customers is apologizing to them sincerely. An apology for the inconvenience caused to the customer is paramount as it will instantly make the customer feel understood, thereby calming him or her down considerably. It is important as a customer care executive to empathize with the customer’s situation and make them feel that you are on their side. Give them a straight apology and offer to do something about their problem immediately. This will pacify them to some extent.

Solve the issue immediately

Once you have let the customer talk it out and get a little calmer, start addressing his concerns. Get to the issue bothering your customer, and draw up possible solutions. Throughout the time you interact with the customer keep your voice tone even and your expression pleasant. The customer should be made to feel important.


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