FrankieWritez
2 years ago1,000+ Views
How to Handle Difficult Clients (over the phone)...What I've Learned Over the Years
(Image Courtesy of Colourbox) If you have ever worked with a Call Center, Customer Service or any Business-to-Business/Business-to-Consumer company, you've probably encountered upset and angry clients. The kind who are undoubtedly upset over a service failure, overcharge, bad customer service or they may have received a wrong item. You never know what to expect, but as the phone call comes through your line, you can feel the tension seeping through. The customer begins to tell you their story of their unpleasant experience. All the while, screaming, yelling, and possibly using belligerent language towards you. How do you handle it? What method can you take to turn your customer into a happy one? Be Polite and Professional No matter how irate the customer, never engage in an argument and do not interrupt them; it will not solve anything. Keep your composure and follow the normal procedures in handling any other customer. Be positive and be mature about the situation. Guage the Energy of your Client It's best to determine early the tone to take with your client. Some can be more upset than others, so match your energy with your customers'. You should be just as serious as they are. In addition, try not to laugh and make light of any situation. Customers have money on the line and will not be too keen on any joking manners as this time. Rather than patronize your customer, be attentive and serious about their problem in order to prove you are there to solve it. Listen to your Client's Concerns Allow your customer to vent out their frustrations. Again, do not interrupt them, but don't be completely silent either. Give an occasional "Mmhmm", "I understand", or "I'm so sorry" while their telling their story to show active listening and time it accurately. Don't overdue it, but show understanding. Keep in mind, they are upset at the situation and not at you. So, do not take anything personal. Your job is to provide service to your customer, not a confrontation. Give your Sincere Apology Avoid the all-to-common apology, "I'm sorry about that", or "I'm sorry for the inconvenience." Clients hear this way too often. By actively listening to your client's concerns in Step 3, you can prove your comprehension skills by saying, for example, "I'm truly sorry we were not able to deliver your package on time," or "I do apologize that someone did not get back to you sooner." You show that you cared enough to listen to what they had to say. Assure your Assistance After you apologize, guarantee that you will help them. This will show concern on your part and will establish a sense of trust. No matter what happened before, you are there to help them now. "I am sorry that we overcharged you, let's see what I can do to fix that." "I do apologize that the wrong product was given to you, I will definitely find out what I can do for you today." It's about how you acknowledge the issue at hand and how you decide to solve it for your client. Go the Extra Mile Do all that you can to solve their dilemma. Offer further help, "Is there anything else that I can do for you today?"Then, if at all possible, offer some sort of compensation or future discount for their trouble, with approval from your supervisors of course. This will ensure your client that you value their business and are willing to make up for what happened. Try and give an extra touch to your service if you can. Other Tips If you are speaking to a customer who is constantly using offensive and vulgar language towards you, you do not need to stay connected to the call. Give them 1 warning, "Sir or Ma'am, I'm sorry, but if you continue to use that language with me I will have to release this call. I am only trying to help you", if they do not take the warning, kindly release the call and immediately inform your supervisor why you hung up the phone. They will understand, especially if you've already provided a Warning. You will have customers you will be unable to help. There will also be customers who will refuse to allow you to help them at all and will immediately ask to speak to your supervisor. Just apologize for not being able to help any further, and find a nearby lead or supervisor to take over the call. Do not get discouraged; you will have clients like this. Most, if not all, of your phone calls are recorded. Keep this in mind before you decide to "react" to the customer, rather than "respond". Display to your client that you actually care about their specific problems and are willing to help correct them. You can earn trust from them by easing their worry so they'll be inclined to allow you to help them. Consider this, how would you want a representative to take care of your issue with a company?
4 comments
these are great points. I've worked in enough service jobs to agree with everything here. It can be tough dealing with Irate customers but it's important to keep your head on straight
2 years ago·Reply
Thank you @InVinsybll and absolutely! Its all about taking control of the situation because once you lose it, things are bound to fall apart.
2 years ago·Reply
This is really great advice! You can use this in office situations too. I love the "go the extra mile" tip. Don't do things halfway!!! Nice work , and really well written too :)
2 years ago·Reply
Thank you @TessStevens !!
2 years ago·Reply
5
4
2