When you find yourself on a call with an unhappy customer, it’s going to get your heart rate going. A customer may be having a bad day or may be frustrated with a situation and taking it out poorly on you. Sometimes they are not happy with the information you’ve provided and other times, they are mad about something that is out of your control.
It’s not an easy task to deal with an angry caller, and it’s difficult to turn that irate caller into a happy customer. This is common for call center customer service representatives, and it’s crucial that you learn the ropes of handling the stressful situation of difficult customers.
While an unhappy customer is very likely to share their experience over a satisfied customer, it’s extremely important that you do all you can to rectify the situation and help them to hang up feeling happy. Here is a look at some tips to turn that irate caller into a happy customer.
Don’t move slow; work quickly
The first thing to keep in mind is that your customer is ready for results. They need someone that is ready to handle the problem immediately and not someone that is moving slowly or keeping them on hold. Not only will you produce satisfying results for your upset caller, but greater efficiency will also help you to serve more customers throughout your day. Don’t leave your customers on hold and frustrate them.
For the calls that require hold, be sure to avoid excessive hold times. And for those that don’t require hold, help them place an order or get their questions answered as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you may cause an irate customer to get more upset and tell others about their experience with your company. You could even lose a sale.
Listen and Apologize
Your caller is upset and wants to vent and tell their story. They want someone to hear them out. Ask how you can help, sit back, and listen to their story very well. Don’t interrupt or cut them off, even for clarification; rather, just take notes and ask questions after they’ve spoken. Listening to the story will help you understand the situation, will make the customer feel better and will help you to determine how to rectify the situation.
Once you’ve heard your caller out, apologize, apologize, and apologize some more. Let them know you are sorry for the inconvenience or problem they’ve encountered. Don’t blame your caller, even if it their fault, because it will worsen the mood. Your caller wants to feel like you’re their ally rather than an enemy. Assure your caller you’ll help solve the problem they’re encountering as quickly as possible.
Resolve and Compensate
Make sure you understand the situation by asking any clarification questions. Then, advise how you plan to resolve the issue. If it’s something you already know how to handle, go ahead and take care of the issue right away. If you aren’t sure, don’t promise anything but rather let your caller know that you’ll need to place them on a brief hold to consult your manual or manager.
Don’t leave your caller on hold long; if you can’t resolve it quickly, then perhaps a call transfer or a promise to call back is a better option. Before you transfer a call, be sure to advise the team member of the situation so that your caller doesn’t have to start all over again.
Another way to turn your irate customer into a happy one is to compensate for their trouble. By offering discounts or freebies, you may be able to turn the situation into a positive one. People love free stuff and while it’s a small loss to you now, you may end up with a loyal customer that will pay for every freebie over years to come.
Be sure to stay friendly during the process, be a good listener and communicator, handle problems efficiently and don’t let your caller hang up without resolution. These tips should help turn your frustrated callers into happy customers.