What to do when a client yells at you?

What to do when a client yells at you?

In this guide, we will discuss ‘What to do when a client yells at you?’ and a few tips you can use when facing an angry client.

What to do when a client yells at you?

If you are wondering ‘What to do when a client yells at you?’, then you may have interacted with an angry or difficult client/customer once or more than once due to the nature of your job. Here are some tips you can follow when dealing with this situation:

  • Avoid reacting to an angry client in the same way or matching their tone.
  • Let them know you listen to their frustration and acknowledge (rephrase and empathize).
  • Don’t interrupt and let them vent, which will avoid making things worse.
  • Apologize when appropriate (don’t over apologize).
  • Propose possible solutions and share them with your client.
  • Know when you might need help, no need to feel ashamed.
What to do when a client yells at you?

Whether the client is angry, fuming, and furious in person or over the phone, it can be considered a scary, confusing, and frustrating situation if we are not prepared for it. They could have raised their voice, began swearing, and refused to listen to you, found yourself in this type of situation before? 

If you have been there, you may have felt so little, disrespected, and guilty. But let’s think about how we may have acted the same way towards some that tried to help us when we are angry and all we did was yelling and throwing our frustration at them. Since you may already know how it feels to be on both sides of the situation, we could be more understanding and use it in our favor. Let’s take a look at the tips we have mentioned more in-depth.

Avid reacting the same way

If you have had to deal with an angry client you know how compelling it feels to match their tone of voice, yell, or even act the same way they are. When some are yelling at us, our brain reacts to interpreting this as a possible threat, that is why we tend to feel how our heart starts raising and our blood boiling, preparing us to either attack or run away.

However, when you breathe and take a few mins to detach yourself from the situation, you are able to change your tone of voice helping to ease your client’s current state. We understand it is easier to take a moment to breathe and calm yourself down when you are talking to your client over the phone but it is a different story when you are face to face. However, it is very helpful thinking of how we shouldn’t take things personally.

What to do when a client yells at you?

Let them know you listen to their frustration and acknowledge

When you are talking to an angry client, it is important to let them know you are listening to them and their frustration. If they feel you are not listening, they will get more irritated, frustrated and their anger will spike making things worse. The best thing to do is listening, picking up keywords about the situation, and why they are angry and acknowledging their frustration. Rephrase what you have understood about the situation using your client’s own words and empathize with them

Moreover, when addressing them, try to use their first name to personalize the interaction or you can also use Mr./Miss. And their last name. You can try to say, “Harry, I understand you are frustrated about (state the issue), I would be angry too and I will do everything I can to be of assistance.”

Make sure they know you are there to help them and not to fight them, even if you consider futile the reason for their anger or frustration.

Don’t interrupt and let them vent

Let’s face it, no one likes to be interrupted and sometimes we even have a hard time biting our own town, staying quiet, and letting them vent. We may be familiar with the situation where we have had a discussion with a relative or a friend and even if they interrupted because they wanted us to calm down, it made it worse.

Haven’t you felt how after venting or saying everything you needed to say, you started to feel better? Yes, we all have felt it at some point in our lives and after venting, we start feeling how our bodies go back to their original state.

What to do when a client yells at you?

Apologize when appropriate

In this type of situation, it can be detrimental to over apologize since clients can take advantage of it to keep the discussion going. However, on some occasions, we may have done or said something for them to be angry and it seems logical to apologize for it but if we weren’t the direct cause of their frustration, it is important not to take the blame but apologize for the frustration the situation had caused them.

As indicated by Jennifer Winter from Forbes.com, “Validating your clients’ concerns helps alleviate their need to further justify their anger and moves you one step closer toward a more civilized discussion. Figure out what’s chafing your client most, acknowledge it, and genuinely express your regret for the inconvenience.”

What to do when a client yells at you?

Propose possible solutions and share them

At some point during the conversation after listening to your client’s frustrations and concerns you have come up with a few ideas on how to solve the problem. However, things might go sour and they may refuse to accept your solution to the situation, so it is important to set boundaries and what to do when someone crosses them.

For instance, if someone goes past the point of being angry and starts being abusive you can say something like, “I understand how angry and frustrated you are over this situation, and as much as I would want to hear you so we can agree on a solution that satisfies you, it is impossible if you are yelling and screaming. We both deserve to be treated respectfully so we are able to hear each other, Can you do this?”

Know when you might need help

We know how some situations may escalate to the point of no return and we might not even know how to respond. Knowing when you might need help either from a manager or a colleague is not something you should be ashamed of, especially if it is the first time you deal with an angry client.

However, don’t make it sound like you have lost control of the interaction but looking for more alternatives that are not really available to you but you could make it happen. It really depends on how you say things, instead of what you actually say.

Why is this blog about What to do when a client yells at you important?

This blog about what to do when a client yells at you can be really helpful for those who are constantly interacting with them due to the nature of their job. We know how likely it is that you may get an angry client sooner or later, so being prepared for this type of situation would be ideal. However, if you have already dealt with an angry client, this can give you enough tools if a ‘next time’ should arise. 

Remember it is imperative not to react the same way our client does and certainly avoid engaging into a fight or matching your client’s tone of voice, listen, rephrase and empathize. Moreover, let your client vent, avoid interrupting, apologize when appropriate and if you feel things are getting out of your control, know when to ask for help. 

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about What to do when a client yells at you

What to do when a customer is yelling at you?

If you are dealing with a customer who is yelling at you the first thing that is recommended is to remain calm, breathe, and try not to take things personally. They may be angry at the company you work for, dissatisfied with the service, or been having problems getting an issue resolved. In addition, use your listening skills and sympathize with their situation. If there is a reason to apologize then do it, otherwise avoid taking the blame since this can make the situation worse. Try to come up with a solution for them but if you are not able to at the moment avoid panicking.

How do you handle an angry client?

When handling an angry client, consider acknowledging their anger and how they are feeling over the situation. Make sure they know you care about their situation and empathize. Avoid interrupting or hurrying them while trying to remain calm. Ask appropriate questions to come up with a solution and share your ideas.

How do you calm down an angry client?

If you need to know how to calm down an angry client, here are some tips:

– Let the client vent.

– Stay calm and breathe.

– Use your listening skills and rephrase what the issue is to confirm you understand.

– Apologize when necessary, otherwise empathize about the client’s concerns/feelings.

– Propose a solution and take action.

– Follow up when necessary.

How do you handle rude and disrespectful customers?

To handle rude and disrespectful customers, remember to:
Stay calm and try not to react and respond in the same way.
Don’t take it personally.
Listen to the customer, let it vent and if appropriate, apologize.

How do you handle challenging customers?

If you want to handle challenging customers, here are some tips:

– Remain calm.

– Use your active listening skills.

– Show your empathy and be sincere.

– Rephrase what the issue is to check your understanding of the problem.

– Thank the customer for bringing this issue to your attention.

– Propose possible solutions to the problem and share them with the customer.

– Follow up on the issue, when necessary.

References 

Winter, J. (2013, Jan.) Keeping the Peace: How to Deal With an Angry Client. Retrieved from forbes.com.

Levit, L. (2017, Feb.) Do this when a client is angry & disrespectful to you in person or on the phone. Retrieved from millo.co.

What to do when a client yells at you?

Daniela Paez

Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.