By Alison Flangel

As a small business owner, creating a trusting environment between you and your customers is essential. Happy customers equate to a happy business. Sometimes despite our best efforts, customers can have unhappy experiences at our businesses. Below are some etiquette tips on how to deal with angry customers, as well as how to build customer trust.

How to Handle Angry Customers

  • Don’t take it personally
    When dealing with a customer who is angry or unhappy with their experience at your business, although it may seem like a personal attack against you as a business owner, it is important to put the situation into perspective. Your personal feelings about the situation should not affect your attitude or demeanor.
  • Stay calm
    If a customer begins to raise their voice or yell at employees, nothing is gained from returning that behavior. In fact, by acting in a similar manner you will likely cause the situation to escalate. It is essential to maintain control over yourself and your emotions.
  • Apologize
    Whether or not you agree with the legitimacy of what a customer may be angry about, in order to come to a resolution an apology is almost always necessary. If you want said customer to return to your business, an apology is what does the trick.
  • Find a solution
    Sometimes, apologies alone do not solve the problem at hand. One way to create resolution is by asking the customer what they feel should be done or put forward to solve the issue. This way, customers feel as though you are listening and valuing the feedback they are giving.
  • Keep it brief
    It is in the best interest of both parties to resolve problems quickly. The longer you linger with an unhappy customer, the more opportunities there are for further issues to arise. The less time you spend dealing with a customer like this is less time you spend with other productive customers.

How to Build Customer Trust in Your Business

  • Keep it transparent
    Most of the time, trust is built off of honest communication. Make sure you are being straightforward and honest with your customers about variables such as shipping times and product costs.
  • Own up to mistakes
    Bumps in the road are inevitable when you own a business; the best thing you can do as a business owner is take responsibility for your mistakes. Despite a customer’s feelings, humility goes a long way.
  • Anticipate customer needs
    As a business owner, it is important to evaluate your customer base frequently. In doing so, attempting to anticipate the needs of your customers will automatically build trust in your business. If customers trust that you deliver their needs without even needing to ask, a strong environment is created.
  • Communicate
    As they say, communication is always key. Putting in an effort for strong communication between business employees and customers is necessary to maintain trust in your business. Communication can solve many problems before they even have the chance to arise.