Customers can be unreasonable. Customers get angry. Customers get upset.
So how should you deal with an angry customer on the phone?
When a customer calls to tell you that they are upset there’s really very little you can do. Your goal is to keep the anger from spreading out of control. You don’t want a fire storm. It’s a damage limitation exercise. You don’t want the customer on every social network having a go at your company. And you certainly don’t want them speaking to the press. And most of all you don’t want them sending round their friends.
It is often best to choose a member of staff who has enough authority to act who can take these kind of calls. Someone who can take remedial action if need be. So if you are the person who gets the call to begin with you might like to ask if you can transfer the call to someone with more authority. So if you are that person with the authority then this is what you should do:
- First off take the call - no matter how tempting it is to be engaged it would simply make matters worse. There is no time to prepare for these calls so your performance is a live one.
- Even if you know about the situation, it’s best to act as if this is the first you’ve heard of it.
- The best response is simply to allow the customer to vent their spleen and as the anger hopefully diminishes - try to understand what has made the them so angry
- Don’t apologise for someone else—that will allow the anger to be shifted to you.
- And don’t offer a defense. That will only turn the conversation into a debate.
- Instead, show personal concern, express your regrets over the whole situation and then if possible offer to make amends or resolve the issue.
- Whatever happens don’t grovel. You may find it useful to write down the main points of what is being said. This shows concern and also allows you to refer back to the conversation. If you have a quality control system you will need to record the call as a complaint.
- In most cases, all the customer needed to do was to express their anger. But what if the customers tirade turns into a string of obscenities, foul language and personal remarks?
- Then you should remain calm – the customer is trying to get a reaction and if you get upset they've won. Ask them to moderate their language and say if she does not that you will have to terminate the call. Then if need be do cut the call.
- Try and regard the whole experience as a learning one for you – not as a personal slight. You don’t want to get drawn in and you don’t want your blood pressure to be raised.
By accepting the customers anger, without accepting blame you should be able to resolve the situation as painlessly as possible.
If you have promised to do something to resolve the situation then you should follow up with another phone call and make sure it did resolve the situation – if it didn’t then the situation is defused by that call. If it did resolve it you may have made a friend.
Be concerned and regretful—not defensive or apologetic
Listen, show you care, offer to do what you can, and leave it at that
Judge your success by how much the damage has been contained.
Mister Face4 months ago
… And it's just that simple, folks. This guy is spot on. Most customer service reps create their own misery by getting into arguments with the customer, or allowing the customer to affect their emotions. Make your job a lot easier and just stay calm and collected
Weldon Labanq1 month ago
he looks tired :/
E Brooklyn1 year ago
you Rock . Great lecture You are Genius!
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