Handling anger

People get angry all the time and the problem seems to be getting worse. People who grossly overreact to trivial events with violence are suffering from a central lack of confidence. Angry people interpret everything as a personal slight, an insult to their already fragile egos. (Certain events may) exacerbate their sense of vulnerability.

1. Thank your client for raising the issue.
If they allow you time to talk, thanking them legitimises their concern. Then, as necessary, allow them to vent.

2, Repeat the client’s issue to signal that you empathise.
For example, “I understand that you have been having trouble with our budget.” Again, this shows that you acknowledge what they have to say. At this point, the customer should continue to vent, enabling you to record their concerns.

3. Apologise. Even if it’s not your fault.

If you didn’t do anything wrong, apologise for their pain. For example, “I apologise for any frustration you may have experienced”.

4. Reassure that you’re committed to helping them.
By reassuring them, you accept responsibility for the problem. Taking the issue out of your client’s hands relieves them of the pressure creating their anger. It also starts both of you on the road to a resolution. If you’re lucky, the client will begin to simmer down at this point.

5. Take action quickly and effectively.
Tell them what you will do, do it and communicate regularly with the client to ensure that they understand that you are being professional and that you can be trusted.