Dealing With an Angry Customer: 3 Things to Remember

Dealing With an Angry Customer: 3 Things to Remember

Having provided B2B high risk merchant account services to e-commerce businesses since 2001, we’ll have the occasional dealing with an angry customer. We occasionally see merchants lose their merchant accounts from their banks for a number of reasons. An irate phone call to us usually follows.

And when it does, there are three things our merchant account managers keep in mind.

Maintain your perspective

Question: How is your life going to be any different after an angry customer service call?

It’s not. In understanding that, you’re well on your way to establishing the right tone with the caller.

Dealing with angry customers can be stressful, but is always a temporary encounter and hopefully resolvable by a mutually benefitting solution.

Establish a courteous tone early

A customer’s agitation is infectious. It is easy for the listener to become disheveled and agitated as well.

An angry customer wants the listener to feel his/her pain. And if the customer feels they’re not being heard, their anger will grow. Empathize with them to a degree, and use phrases such as ‘I understand,’ or ‘Let’s see what we can do,’ or even ‘I’m going to do my best to find a solution.’

Focus on the message

Years ago, I had read a book about Bobby Knight, the former men’s basketball coach at Indiana University known not only for winning three NCAA championships, but equally for his temper. I remember one particular line explaining how players who could understand his message within a tirade did very well at Indiana.

The same theory can be applied to customer service. Listen through the tirade and identify the reason(s) why the customer is disgruntled. It’s important to understand the issue from the customer’s side too.

When dealing with an angry customer is hopeless

Echoing our above assertion how a consumer’s anger will grow if he/she feels they’re not being heard, dealing with an angry customer occasionally results in a dead end. We once had a merchant shut down by his bank because he had failed to meet the credit card processing minimum volume agreed upon in his contract. As a result, the bank froze his funds to cover for any chargebacks or refunds.

The merchant contacted us and demanded his funds be returned (the bank froze his funds, not Instabill). Our merchant account manager explained this and calmly referred him to the section of the contract that noted processing minimums. His anger only grew, both over the phone and in the ensuing weeks with insults and physical threats.

During this process, we had our defense ready and in front us, which is vital in an escalating dispute. We stopped replying to the merchant’s threats and maintained a record of each contact. Eventually, he stopped contacting us.

The best merchant account customer service

There is a reason we offer our phone number – 1-800-530-2444 – across our website: We answer inquiries directly. Instabill also believes in one dedicated merchant account manager per merchant account.

By all means, call us direct. We’ll find a payment processing solution for your business.

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