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5 Tips for Dealing with Angry Customers and Coworkers

In every business, mistakes happen and coworkers or customers get angry. But when a problem is fixed properly and stays fixed-- loyalty actually increases!

Here are five steps you can take to not only resolve the problem, but also actually build loyalty with your coworkers and customers. In fact, you can use these steps to deal with anger and build positive relationships in all areas of your life.

1. Listen carefully to the person who is angry. Active listening requires a lot of effort and cannot be accomplished when we're distracted. You need to stop everything you are doing and give your customer 100% of your attention.

2. Empathize with the other person’s concerns. Let him or her know that you sincerely care about the problem, even if you don't agree with their comments. One way to show you care is to thank that person for bringing the problem to your attention.

3. Apologize, even if you are not the cause of the problem. When said sincerely, the words "I'm sorry" can remove as much as 95% of most people's anger.

4. Resolve the problem. Show your coworker or customer that you are on his or her side and will do everything you can to help them get the problem resolved. If an employee in another department can fix it, help make the transition smooth by explaining the problem so they don't have to tell their story more than once.

5. Now is the time to address the problem. When a problem is addressed quickly and with care, loyalty actually goes up.

The best way to handle a situation in which a coworker is angry or upset is to remember the acronym L.E.A.R.N and apply the five steps listed above. Then feel great about the positive difference you made in that individual's day!