How Would You Deal With An Angry Or Irate Customer?

LiveCareer Staff Writer
by LiveCareer Staff Writer

When a hiring manager asks you about your ability to handle angry customers, they are trying to determine how well you respond and act under negative conditions and pressure.

It is best for you to first be honest about if you have ever handled a situation with an angry customer before. If you haven’t, only then is it acceptable for you to inform the hiring manager what you would do if you ever come across one.

Points to Emphasize

When discussing how you would handle this type of situation, remember to stay calm. Remember the customer is always right.

  • Describe a scenario that highlights your ability to cope with stress and tough customers.
  • Be sure to emphasize how well you communicated with the customer, acknowledged their concerns, and resolved the situation with regards to company policy to the best of your abilities.
  • Your response should highlight that you go above and beyond for your customers and do not cave in to pressure while providing exceptional customer service.
  • Be mindful of your tone, emotions, enthusiasm and body language.

Employers are looking for candidates that know how to effectively defuse hostile customer interactions while promoting their company in a positive light.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

It can be very easy to become flustered while answering this type of question. To avoid answering this question incorrectly, utilize the following tricks:

  • Do not talk about any situations where you failed to answer the customer, respond fast enough, respond appropriately or made a mistake.
  • Avoid using clichés and canned responses.
  • Avoid becoming overly emotional and excited when describing how you would handle an irate customer. Keep your hand gestures and body language to a minimum and strictly professional.
  • Do not discuss situations where you failed to properly identify with the customer’s concerns and caused the situation to escalate beyond your control.

Hiring personnel can read body language and into cliché responses, so be honest and thoughtful with your response.

Sample Answer

A great sample response to this type of question would be:

I know sometimes customers may be upset or unhappy with their experience with a particular product or service and will contact the company to let them know. I would acknowledge their feelings and concerns, and inform them that I would be more than happy to assist them with resolving the problem. After exhausting all available resources, if I could not rectify the situation, I would let the customer know that I can put them in touch with a supervisor who can help them if necessary.

Remember, your response needs to showcase how well you were able to remain in control of the entire interaction between you and the irate customer.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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