When it comes to customer service, sometimes your natural instincts aren’t the best way to handle difficult customers. Aggressive people are hard to reason with, they have a lot to say and feel misunderstood, they don’t act rationally in this mood and are easily annoyed by others who do.
It’s essential to avoid upsetting them more, for your own sanity and to remain professional. So here are the 5 most common mistakes to make during one of these phone calls.
We’ll help you to avoid them:
- Saying ‘sorry’
This is the easiest mistake to make, someone is forcing blame upon you and even if it’s not directly your fault, your initial reaction is to apologise. This might seem like a quick fix but what it actually does is make you sound guilty, reaffirming their problem and not helping with a solution. It is much better to say ‘I understand completely’ rather than ‘I apologise profusely’.
- Shifting the blame (or the confrontation)
When the reason you’re being yelled at isn’t your fault, it’s a natural response to say ‘Let me just pass you over to my supervisor…’ or ‘You need to speak to…’ all this does is delay the same response. They anger starts all over again or worse, builds up while they wait for you to pass them over to somebody else. Let them get their frustration out before interrupting them.
- Trying to calm them down
Has someone telling you to ‘calm down’ ever made you feel like doing so when you’re angry? It’s the last thing you want to do and being told this just makes you feel frustrated that someone else doesn’t share your feelings. It is much more effective to empathise with them, that will calm them down faster than directly asking them to do so.
- Telling them it’s easily fixed/the solution is easy
This begs the question ‘why wasn’t that done in the first place then?’, which is a bad reflection on your company. It also might make them feel like they’re overreacting and being misunderstood, which will only upset them more. It’s much better to say ‘we will work hard to find a solution for you’ or ‘I will do everything I can to fix it’.
- Hope that your happy tone catches on
In general it is a good rule to sit up and smile while on the phone to customers. Smiling changes the tone of your voice and shows confidence in what you’re saying. In the instance of an angry customer however, it is much better to deepen and soften your voice into a ‘serious’ tone. This shows that you are taking in what they are saying and not feeling happy about it.
Are you always there for your customers? We provide outsourcing, overflow and out of hours customer service, so you never have to let your customers down. Contact us today for more information on 0800 0931 830.