Over the past week, our blogs have been focused on the type of phone etiquette necessary to make sure customers get the best service possible. Not only do your customers need to depend on you to provide concise and accurate information, but they expect to be treated with high degrees of friendliness and respect as well. Admittedly, this isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do.
This is especially true when dealing with irate customers. Naturally, your customer service regimen should be one that never produces angry clients. But you never know when a situation may arise that causes a major inconvenience for one or more of your customers. So how do you handle the situation? It’s important to consider the needs of the person calling over and above the extreme rage and attitude that they may be transmitting through the line.
Keep your cool! That’s the best thing you can do right off the bat. But, as mentioned before, it’s not always that easy. After all, you’re human. And often the problem isn’t something that could have been helped. It generally won’t directly be the fault of the person taking the complaint call anyway. So both you and your phone staff need to follow a few guidelines on how to handle irate callers. Here are five.
1. Adjust the attitude. When a customer calls you up already yelling and screaming, you need to do everything you can to respond with a sense of understanding. Mind you, you don’t want to come off sounding too happy or it will appear as if you’re not taking the call seriously. However, you’ll need to keep your composure in order to let the caller know that you are willing to help. Hopefully, your demeanour will adjust the attitude of the irate customer.
2. Listen up. Perhaps, the best thing you can do when an angry customer gets you on the line is to listen. Don’t jump to conclusions even if you feel certain you know what the problem is and how you can fix it. Understanding the true nature of the complaint is the first step in enabling you to solve the problem quickly. Feel free to ask questions to get to the heart of the matter and let the caller know that you’ll do all you can to resolve it immediately.
3. Say sorry. It’s a simple little courtesy that most of us practice on a daily basis. You certainly shouldn’t forget about it in the case of an irate caller. Showing empathy goes a long way in presenting your brand as one that truly cares about customer satisfaction. Be sincere. Let the customer know that you understand why he or she is upset. A simple apology will sometimes be all you need to calm your caller down.
4. Provide a solution. Sometimes, a solution cannot be found at the first point of contact. That doesn’t mean that you’re unable to help your angry customer. It’s always important to let your customers know what you can do for them, as opposed to what you cannot do. Instead of saying “I won’t be able to get that done today”, try saying “I’ll make sure that this is completed for you no later than the end of the business day tomorrow.”
5. Accept feedback. What can you do to ensure that the problem you have resolved doesn’t come up again? Perhaps the answer can be found in the information that your customer gives you. Listen to what they have to say about the service you are providing and take it to heart. After all, there is no one better than your customers to tell you how good a job you are doing. Be sure to follow up with your customers to see if they are satisfied with the ways you handled complaints.
At MeloTel, we are only too happy to provide you with the best customer service possible. Never hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns at 1-888-MELOTEL!
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