By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training


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 on one of the better ways to ACTUALLY HANDLE the situation. Our 4-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 diffuse 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, 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. Watch this short video. 

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers.