What should you do when faced with angry customer complaint calls?
There are many ways one can go about calming a customer, especially when that customer is past the point of no return.Â I’ve been faced with that dilemma during customer complaint calls on many occasions. Â For me, humility has been my best defensive weapon.Â Knowing that it’s not personal, itâ€™s just the customerâ€™s frustration with the problem; I can put myself in a place to be a sounding board.Â To listen and allow the caller to air their grievance without get emotional.Â Being professional and calm through the process of customer complaint calls has always been a plus.Â Thatâ€™s always the big advantage in de-escalating customer complaint calls. Â It also helps to restate the issue once itâ€™s been delivered, because youâ€˜ll accomplish a lot by doing so.Â It shows your interest in assisting the customer and the fact that you are listening. After all, customers just want to be heard and to find a solution to the situation. Â An apology with genuine sincerity goes a long way.Â So, acknowledge the problem and assure them that you can help make a difference when on customer complaint calls.
I searched the web and found the following tips from Emilia Lamberto, which support my practices for Â de-escalating customer complaint calls.
- Remain calm. Whether you’re getting cussed out or taking personal verbal attacks from a customer, you must avoid, at all costs, getting upset or angry with the customer. This includes being sarcastic. If you feel as though you are unable to keep your cool, it’s best to hand the phone over to someone else or to transfer the call to someone more likely to be able to help.
- Let the customer rant. It is likely that there is a lot that the customer wants to get off her chest. Let her speak, cuss, yell or whatever is necessary. Be patient with her. After she has finished, acknowledge her anger by saying something along the lines of, “We understand that you’re angry. You’re absolutely right, this shouldn’t have happened.” When she realizes that her concerns are being addressed, she will be more likely to calm down in order to get the situation sorted out.
- Apologize. Tell the customer that you’re sorry for the problems she is having with the company or product. Explain that you vow to resolve this issue as soon as possible and that you will begin working on it as soon as you get off of the phone.
- Provide him with options. Do not end the phone call by saying you will get back to him. Instead, provide him with solutions, ask him which sounds best to him, and after agreeing, provide him with a specific time frame when you will get back to him. Two or three days max is an acceptable time-frame, but the earlier the better.
- Stay true to your word. Do not hang up the phone forgetting about the customer. Start working to resolve the issue immediately, or hand the issue over to someone who can start working it out. Any delay will create even more frustration.
- Give the customer what she wants. If the customer was misinformed and is ranting because of her own mistake, don’t spend time arguing with her. Instead, think about how much time you’re wasting trying to get through to an angry person. It’s better to just let the customer have what she wants, and then politely guide her to the proper web page where your policy is. This will help to avoid problems in the future. Be as humble and courteous as possible. Try not to come off as though you are blatantly telling her that she’s mistaken.
These are the guidelines that have helped me steer through the muddy waters of customer complaints calls in the answering service and call center environment.Â Once you have the tools and knowledge to address conflict in the work place, the process becomes less difficult to manage.Â Â And you’ll be awarded with more successful endings when you encounter customer complaint calls.