Calming down an angry person with the LER Technique
We all have been on the other end of that phone call.
Where an angry client is rude to you the minute you introduce yourself and no matter how many times you apologise or how hard you try, they just will not calm down.
So how do you calm down an angry client?
Watch our quick video and read through our handy guide afterwards on how to calm down an angry client with the LER Technique.
Follow these three steps to calm down an angry customer.
Step 1 – Listen
Really listen to the angry client.
• To what they are saying.
• To the tone of voice they use.
• To the words they use.
• To the emotions you pick up.
I have found that making notes whilst the angry client is talking, helps me stay focussed and calm.
Step 2 – Empathise
Have empathy with your angry client.
So, what is empathy?
Well, it means to put yourself in your angry client’s shoes.
It means you try and understand how you would feel if it was happening to you.
But sometimes it is hard to do this . . . you had a bad day, the angry client is shouting and just won’t calm down . . . how do you then have empathy?
Easy – merely repeat back to the angry client the emotion you are picking up from them. You can say something like; “I can hear you are angry or I can hear you are frustrated”.
Reflecting back the emotion your angry client’s feeling helps them feel understood.
Step 3 – Reflect
In this step you are going to repeat very briefly back to the angry client what you heard them say.
What is causing their frustration?
Think of your personal life . . . You are having a fight with your partner. They say; “Ok, fine, I am sorry”.
What is your first thought or reaction? . . . . Usually it is something like . . . . “What are you sorry for or do you even know why you are apologising”.
This is why it is important to reflect back what you heard the angry client say. It helps them feel heard.
So now that you know the three steps, let’s look at an example;
You answer the phone and the client, Mrs Smith, barks in a hostile voice;
“I hope you can help me, I have spoken to 5 different people. You guys are so incompetent. I don’t know why I even bother! I want a refund on my purchase!”
Your response, in a strong confident voice, would be;
“Mrs. Smith I can hear you are frustrated because you have spoken to five people before me. I do apologise that nobody has been able to help you. Unfortunately, I cannot help you with a refund, but I tell you what I am going to do. Let me take your details and I will personally hand it over to the correct person who will contact you back”.
Now in our example we use the LER technique for a work situation, but it works wonders with your family and friends too.
And Remember an angry client may say things that is nasty and hurtful.
It is hardly ever about you personally . . . doesn’t feel like it hey? . . . Just breathe and remember, their words are all about their own anger and frustration. Not your worth as a person!