Every one of us – even those in sales – has at one time or another, been an Angry Customer.

Think back to one of those times and get in touch with your pain. You’ve been on hold for 20 minutes. Given your information to three different people. Heard “no” about seven different ways. And finally you’re told that, unfortunately, you needed to call by yesterday and the policy can’t be waived.

Are you there yet? Good.

Now, if you could only hear one thing, would it be…

  • A silky soothing voice?
  • Chirpy confidence?
  • An apology?
  • A solution?

Sweet talk and apologies are nice, but I’d choose a solution. Without that, none of the rest matters.

So I wonder why so much advice about handling angry customers isn’t about what you say – the solution – but how you say it. There’s only one thing you need to remember when a customer flies off the handle: It’s a cry for help. Angry as they are, they’re only still talking to you because they harbor some faint and fluttering hope that you – YOU – are the person who can help them.

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