Whether you own a business or work for someone else, at some point you’ve probably run into an angry customer. It’s an uncomfortable situation that – unfortunately – is not always easy to diffuse. Thankfully, there are ways to help de­escalate a bad experience and ensure that you keep an angry customer’s business – or at least try. Check out these 3 tips for dealing with angry customers.

1. Did you do something wrong? Sincerely fix it. There are two rules you should always follow: never argue with your customer, and always ensure that all feelings are openly acknowledged. It’s important to follow these rules so that you come across as sincere. You should want to fix the problem – that’s a huge part of your job. Be sure to properly investigate the situation and apologize in advance, while remaining calm and sincere.

2. Resolve the problem without implying too much blame on your company. As mentioned in my previous point, it’s always best to investigate and apologize for any fault – especially if you did something wrong. However, try not to drag your company through the mud. Sometimes, a mistake is a mistake. Some blame is justified, but can often be taken too far too quickly, which makes the customer angrier than he was before. While the customer should always be graciously apologized to regardless, don’t assume too much blame unless specifically mentioned by the customer.

3. Be courteous and efficient in providing a solution. Apologize! Whether or not you are specifically to blame for the error, you’re a representative of your company as a whole. Never blame one of your employees for the situation, at the end of the day, their behavior is your responsibility.If one person makes a mistake, you must be apologetic and kind on behalf of that employee. In addition to apologizing, show that you mean it by working efficiently to find a solution to the problem – big or small.

Remember, if you come across an angry customer, be sincere, investigate the situation, and effectively provide a solution. Follow these 3 tips, and you’ll be better equipped to defuse a customer’s anger and avoid losing business.