How to calm an angry client

Just yesterday, you received several positive tourists' reviews at once, but today, something went wrong. A transfer failed, a flight was delayed, or a hotel refused to let your client check in. Whatever happens to a tour, your client will not care why he/she got a poor-quality service or did not get it at all. He/she will be at least disappointed, and the first person he/she will express his/her discontent to will be you.
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You know that his/her problem is solvable, you know how to sort everything out and fix it step by step. But how to calm down an angry tourist? And to do that so that your travel agency does not lose him/her as a client. Below, we will tell you how.
What to do: 4 steps to client’s calmness
    1. Let your client let off steam
    An angry client wants to talk. Now, he/she is in an extremely emotional state and wants to let his/her emotions out. He/she is not likely to give you constructive criticism, but will probably shout a lot. The main thing you should do at this step is let your tourist know you understand his/her disappointment and take it seriously.

    When all of his/her emotions are left behind, you will see clear details of what happened.

    2. Words are power, so choose the right ones
    Show your client that you are really sorry about what he/she faced.

    It is important not to use clichés like "We are really sorry that this happened. How can we help you?". They sound too indifferent and have a clear subtext like "Actually, I do not care, but I have to ask". Do not speak on behalf of your travel agency — speak on your behalf and do that in a more sympathetic way:

    "Yes, it is really an unpleasant situation, I can imagine that. Tell me more about it, I will try to fix everything". Show your client that the situation is solvable. Always.

    Another recommendation: call your tourist by his/her name.

    This subconsciously calms a person down and makes him/her believe that his/her problem is taken seriously.

    3. Active listening
    The meaning of this technique is care, as well. You become an active and attentive conversation member. Do not interrupt your client, ask him/her clarifying questions, and repeat the main points of the problem.

    "Let me see if I understand you correctly: you were waiting for the driver in the arrivals area…"

    This technique will help you understand what exactly disappointed your client by removing his/her emotional assessment.

    4. Detach yourself from the problem
    The worst thing you can do is get into an argument with your tourist. When you are in a bad mood, have no time, or feel bad, it is really easy to say something rude in return. This will not help solve the problem, and your travel agency will definitely lose this client.

    It is not you what angers your client, it is the situation.
        Our experience: how we help our partners solve tourists' problems
        99.6% of all Kiwitaxi orders are executed perfectly. But they do not need to be discussed now. We will talk about 0.4% left — these orders are managed by our Quality Control Department.
        Quality Control Department
        Case study: a transfer is late
        A travel agent contacted the Kiwitaxi Quality Control Department and complained about a Dusseldorf to Dusseldorf Airport transfer being late. The tourist was in a hurry to catch his/her flight and after several minutes of waiting called a taxi at his/her own expense.
        Once you are informed about an unpleasant situation with a transfer, contact our Quality Control Department:

        You can tell about anything that caused your client's discontent with a transfer
        . For instance, it may be bad car condition, driver's behavior, lateness or no show, lack of extra services booked, etc.

        Then, a department specialist will ask you some clarifying questions and contact the carrier in order to find out all the details.

        Sorting out a situation takes from several hours to 3 working days. It all depends on how difficult and serious an incident is.

        The department handles each review. You can write your reviews at any time, but our specialists will start managing them only during working hours: from Monday till Friday, from 8:00 to 18:00 (GMT+3).
        Case study: how it all ended
        It turned out that the transfer was late for 20 minutes because of heavy snowfall and traffic jams on the road. A department specialist explained to the travel agent why the driver was late and issued a refund to the client for a service not provided. Handling this review took several hours during one working day.
        When it is not too late
        One day before a trip, we contact a carrier in order to make sure everything is okay. If for some reasons, a pre-booked transfer cannot arrive and pick up a client, we replace it by another. At the same time, we send messages with the new driver and car information to both a travel agent and a tourist. Terms of transfer replacement can be found in the SLA document. Replacing by a cheaper car class is impossible.
        Case study: a car accident on the route
        A client booked an Economy-class transfer to Barcelona El Prat Airport. 4 hours before the flight arrival, the carrier told that the car had got into a car accident. A customer support specialist discussed replacement options with the carrier, contacted the travel agent and gave him/her the information. The client was provided with another transfer which was a Comfort class one and arrived without delay.
        If a transfer is not executed yet, and you need to change an order immediately, contact our 24/7 customer support:
        For more information about canceling and changing orders, read our previous
        blog post.
        What you definitely SHOULD NOT do in case a transfer failed
        1. Keep silent
        Sometimes, when facing a difficulty, a travel agent decides to remain silent and just stop our cooperation. A client ends up with an unsolved problem, and a travel agent — with the need to find another transfer service. Who won? Nobody.

        2. Write angry reviews on social media
        A negative review itself is not terrible if it is relevant. The problem is that it is very difficult to monitor reviews on social media. Specialists will not be able to know what happened on time, provide a refund, and prevent such incidents from happening again.

        3. Make your tourist sort everything out alone
        Yes, what happened is most probably not your fault. But it is you who sells a tour with all its components. There may be problems with anything: a transfer, a hotel, or a flight. Your reputation is at stake.
        It is always difficult to handle angry clients. Follow our recommendations in order to make problem resolution painless for both your travel agency and your tourist. A successful solution will add +100 points to your client's loyalty.
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