Customer service is not an easy job. However, one can make it interesting with the right attitude. The ‘right attitude’ we’re talking about here is the ‘problem solving attitude’.
Think of every angry customer as an opportunity to receive great feedback and achieve service excellence.
Customers get upset due to many reasons, which can range from minor slip-ups to major issues. If you’re a customer service representative, you might have dealt with these upset customers at some or the other point in your career.
However, customer complaints matter
Customer complaints often provide great feedback. If taken in a positive way and worked upon, it benefits the company to a great extent.
Most of the times, a customer will continue business with a company even after a slip-up, but only if the problem is fully fixed the first time.
In this article,
We provide a few tips on dealing with an upset customer you may encounter.
1. Don’t take things personally
When a customer talks rudely, it doesn’t mean that he / she is upset with you. It has nothing to do with you personally. The customer is upset with the product / service of the company. So, keep your feelings apart and focus on offering a solution to the problem. It really helps!
2.Use your listening skills to the best
First thing that a customer wants when he /she is upset is someone to listen to him / her. When that person yells, let him / her say whatever he /she wants. Just listen to them and acknowledge. Once you completely hear them out, summarise the problem and ask questions for clarification. This will not only help you assist the customer in a better way, but also calm him / her down.
3. Remain calm
If a customer is aggressive, there’s no point in you also reacting the same way. In fact, it will worsen the situation. Being calm will help you stay focused and provide a solution.
4. Look beyond the frustration
Of course, the customer is angry, and you can’t ignore that. However, there is something wrong from the company’s side, that has triggered the anger and frustration.
Your job is to find that out and get a solution. Believe, it will be very easy to handle the situation once you find the root cause.
5. Identify the type of customer and act accordingly
There are different types of customers, when it comes to complaining. So, the style of dealing with them will also be different.
i) The meek customer:
This type of customer does not clearly state their problem. You may not know what exactly he / she was dissatisfied with.
In this case, you have to go the extra mile to find out the exact problem and offer a solution.
ii) The aggressive customer:
An aggressive customer is very loud and clear about their problem to whosoever he /she talks to.
The best solution for this type of a customer is to listen to him / her patiently and offer a solution.
iii) The high roller:
He / she is a premium customer, who usually pays the company well for a service and so, demands premium support. They would not listen to any excuses, and rather want to know what you are going to do to for the problem.
Your best approach to this is to listen respectfully and ask questions to get to the root of the problem.
iv) The rip-off customer:
This person is just trying to get something he / she doesn’t deserve. Will never be happy, unless you offer a bonus.
Best solution for this would be to maintain composure and respond as objectively as possible.
v) The chronic complainer:
These customers complain a lot. They are never satisfied and will always find problems. However, you can’t simply dismiss their complaints.
Here, you have to be patient while dealing with them. If satisfied, they will not only continue doing business with the company but also sing your praises to others.
6. Sympathise and apologise
After the customer vents, express sympathy and apology for their unpleasant experience. A simple statement like “I’m sorry for the problem you’re facing. Let’s see what we can do to make things right.” is often needed.
7. Explain before transferring the call, if you have to
You may fall into a situation wherein you’re unable to help a customer and decide to transfer the call to an expert or supervisor. However, this should be a smooth transition. The customer should not suddenly land in front of an unknown recipient.
Explain why and to whom the call has to be transferred. Statement like “I’m going to set you up with our specialist who will get that sorted right away” should help.
8. Don’t drag when a customer has decided to cancel his / her account
If a customer asks you to cancel his / her account, offer help, but accept his /her last decision. After all the efforts, if he /she has already decided to leave, make the parting as smooth as possible.
They may return in the future. However, if you create hassle upon exit, they will never return.
Here are some phrases which will help you improve customer experience:
1. "Happy to help!"
End your emails with, "Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with. I'm happy to help”. It's a way of saying that you’re there to assist with any concerns that may have cropped up.
2. "Great question, I'll find that out for you!"
Being trapped in a situation where you’re unable to answer a question is difficult. However, keep your focus and say, "Great question, let me check our documentation so I can get that answered for you”. It will give you some time to find the answer also keep the customer informed.
Do not guess for the customer. Avoid using phrases like “If I recall correctly”, “maybe”, “perhaps”, “I'm pretty sure”, etc.
3. "Thanks for bringing this to our attention!"
Most customers do not speak, but there are some who go the extra mile and report bugs / flaws in your product. They should be appreciated. You should at least reply to them by saying, "We really appreciate you taking the time to bring this to our attention, Thank you!"
4. "I'd love to understand more about it"
Sometimes, customers do not open up about an issue (the meek customer), as discussed before. In such situations, asking customers to “understand more” about their situation is good. It’s a way of telling them that they’re free to share more of their experience.
Customer support isn’t about being right, it’s about always being willing to make things right. You cannot have a ‘bang-on’ solution for every problem, but what matters is how you deal with the situation. If an upset customer walks away with a smile on his / her face, that’s when your service has achieved excellence.