In the answering service industry there are going to be angry callers. In reality they are primarily stressed people looking for a solution to a problem. They are looking to be heard and assured that a qualified individual will assist them.
How our agents respond makes a difference in providing an excellent customer experience. We review and train on the “7 Steps For Dealing with Angry Customers” from Forbes below:
- Remain Calm: When a customer starts yelling or being otherwise rude, there is nothing to be gained by responding in a similar manner. In fact, that will escalate hostilities. Maintain control of yourself.
- Don’t take it personally: Remember, the customer is not angry with you, they are displeased. It could be at the situation they are enduring and you are merely getting the brunt of their anxiety. Your personal feelings are beside the point.
- Use your best listening skills: The first thing an angry customer wants is to vent. To do so, they need someone to listen—and, for better or worse, you are that person. Listening patiently can defuse a situation, as long as the customer feels acknowledged in his or her complaint. Hear them out. When they are done talking, summarize what you’ve heard and ask any questions to further clarify their complaint.
- Actively sympathize: After the customer vents, he wants to know you understand where he’s coming from and how he or she feels. Express sympathy for their unpleasant customer experience. Respect and understanding go a long way toward smoothing things over.
- Apologize gracefully: Whether the customer’s complaint is legitimate or not is really irrelevant. If you want them to stay a customer, you need to express an apology for the problem they are having (or perceive to be having). A simple, straightforward statement is often all that’s needed: “I’m sorry you’re not happy with … Let’s see what we can do to help you.”
- Find a Solution: Once you understand why the customer is unhappy, it is time to offer a solution. In most cases, that’s all the customer is looking for—and may result in providing some degree of satisfaction.
- Take a few minutes: After the situation has been resolved and the customer is on her way, it’s helpful for you to take your own “time-out.” Even if you’ve handled the situation in the most professional way possible, it’s still a stressful experience.
Our agents are trained to calm the caller down. Let them know we hear them. And then try to connect them to the person who can resolve their situation.
Kelley’s is locally owned and operated in Kennewick, WA. We offer 24-hour Answering Service, Virtual Receptionist Services, Overflow, and Appointment Scheduling. Kelley’s has provided business solutions to companies small, medium and large for over 47 years: Local, Regional and nationwide.