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How to Handle the Irate Customer ASAP

How to Handle the Irate Customer ASAP

ASAP has long been the acronym for "As Soon As Possible"—and that, of course, is true in handling a frustrated, irate customer.

However, it's also an acronym for one of the better ways to actually handle the situation.

Our four-point process has helped thousands of companies and folks make the very best of out some most unpleasant circumstances.

Use our ASAP technique to effectively defuse and handle upset, angry, irate customers:

  • Apologize and acknowledge.
  • Sympathize and empathize.
  • Accept responsibility.
  • Prepare to help.

Feelings are key. We need to apologize sincerely and immediately and follow up with action. Insincere responses, such as "Oh, I'm sorry," won't help and could even cause additional damage. Imagine you were the customer with that experience and ask yourself how you would want it handled.

Let's break it down, step-by-step:

NancyFriedman HeadshotReprinted with permission of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a subject matter expert on customer service at franchise, association and corporate meetings. Nancy is the author of nine books on sales and customer service and is the spokesperson in the popular Telephone Doctor customer service training programs. For a demo packet of Nancy speaking, call 314.291.1012 or visit

Photo courtesy of Nancy Friedman.

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