Handling Irate Customers; The Right Approach and Solution

When you work in retail there will always be unruly customers who have a genuine problem that needs to be solved. The customer is always right is expression most commonly used across fields, though it’s not necessarily true, but when facing an angry customer you have to find the right approach to solving their problem, whether they are right or wrong.

The first step is to calm the customer down without intimidating them any further. So if you are working in retail and approached by a customer who is shouting at you, you have to stand in a position with your feet apart, and with your arms down and close to your body with your hands unclenched and open; simulating a slow repetitive motion of your hands going up a little and down a little as you try to calm the customer. In conjunction with this you have to speak calmly to the customer, but with a firm tone to get across the point that they need to calm down.

Generally you have to tell the customer that you want to help solve their problem, but can’t yet help them until they have calmed down to explain clearly to you what they are trying to convey. Then reassure them that your there to help them, and will find a solution to their issue.

Of course if the customer is wrong about something, you have to find a way to handle this problem without getting them back in an agitated state; usually you can offer them an alternative to a product you no longer stock that they have always brought from your store, or you can go out your way to providing them a good customer service that will leave them happy and satisfied when they leave the store. If however it’s something that you are unable to solve, you will need to escalate it to a supervisor or floor manager, after you have calmed the customer down, and let them take over.

On another note, It’s not always easy offer a customer an alternative product if they are set in their ways, so you have to physically go to where the product is with them and show them the other product. This will promote a reaction when they see the other product and they will tell you whether they have tried it or not; sometimes they would have not tried your own brand of the product, and if you know the product and have tried it you can highlight something you liked about it, and that usually works when their curiosity is sparked.