Customer service centers are designed to handle a large volume of customer phone calls efficiently and professionally. As an agent, your primary job is to serve the customers well and resolve their issues. However, sometimes difficulties arise when customers are angry or upset. Therefore, it is helpful to have a plan of action on how to deal with unhappy customers on a regular basis.
5 Steps to Deal with Unhappy Customers
1. Remain Calm
It is easy to find yourself taking a customer’s anger personally. Although they are upset, it is the situation, service or product that they are unhappy with, not you. If you remain calm while they are talking, you will help diffuse their anger and they will appreciate that you are willing to listen and hear them out.
2. Listen and Acknowledge
Customers call because they are frustrated and need to bend your ear. They want someone to listen to them. Therefore, just taking the time to patiently listen to their issue will go a long way to implementing a resolution. Give the customer a chance to vent their anger, acknowledge that you are listening to them and help them feel important. Once you have given the customer a chance to vent, repeat back their main concerns and issues. Clarify that you have understood what they are saying by responding with questions to get the proper feedback.
As a representative of the company, apologize sincerely to the customer and let them know that you sympathize with their problem. Put your own opinions aside and apologize whether you believe they have a legitimate complaint or not. An apology can go a long way when it comes to diffusing a situation with an angry customer. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than feeling like the customer service representative they are dealing with is apathetic to their frustrations.
4. Find the Solution
Once you have gathered all of the details of the problem, it is time to resolve it. Troubleshoot to find a solution that will satisfy the customer. Suggest a solution that can be easily implemented and give the customer satisfaction. Common issues will have solutions already prepared that you can pass along to the customer; however, larger or unusual issues may take more effort. If it is an issue that cannot be resolved immediately, give the customer an accurate timeline of when there will be a resolution.
5. Release the Stress
Dealing with an angry customer can spill over and you may absorb their stress. After a stressful phone call, take a few minutes to reestablish your equilibrium through a quick break, exercise or chatting with a coworker.
Frustrated and angry customers offer call center agents an opportunity to prove how great a company is. By solving a problem, you go the extra step to make the customer happy. When you interact with them in a positive manner, you also give them a reason to appreciate the company for its excellent service. Use the problem to turn the caller into a loyal repeat customer.
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