It’s impossible for a customer service agent to avoid talking to at least a few annoyed people during a day with more than 100 phone calls. However, having an angry customer isn’t all bad, as they provide more honest feedback than your average customer. More often than not, the caller is merely disappointed, and, as such, they can make you realize your business’s faults. By calling in, upset customers show they care about the product. This brutally honest opinion may actually result in your company learning something new about your product, whether it’s a problem or just an unexpected feature. Your customer may even offer up some solutions. However, this new wisdom is meaningless if your customer support doesn’t know how to handle an angry caller.
It’s understandable that you would get upset if someone kept shouting at you. After all, sometimes, these phone calls involve excessive rage or even death threats. However, you must encourage your customer service operators to keep their cool. Your customer’s anger may just be the culmination of many different issues that are not the agent’s fault. Their dissatisfaction with your service may often be the last straw at the end of a long day.
Don’t Just Hear, Listen
Every customer service agent has at least one customer who calls in every day to list the numerous problems they keep encountering. A lot depends on your thinking: do you consider this person a pain in the neck or somebody who is providing meaningful feedback – even if it comes across as a bit harsh?
Your customers must feel empathy from the operator – somebody on the other side who not only hears but listens. The operator should not interrupt them and offer up considerate language such as: ‘I can fully understand your problem.’ In turn, team leaders must show the same kind of empathy towards these operators, as they’ll likely need emotional support at the end of the day.
Your agent may often have a customer referring to an existing issue. However, they may not even know what the angry caller is talking about. This is either because your agent didn’t listen well enough the day before, or it wasn’t them who answered the call. If it’s the latter, then the operator should bring up the call history to explain this to the customer. Investing in a call center platform makes this easier because apps, such as Freshcaller keep a record of previous calls.
Ask Meaningful Questions
The most challenging part comes after listening: the response. Often the operator may reply with an awkward silence or a meaningless dismissive answer, which will likely have a domino effect, making the customer even angrier. Luckily, it’s possible to create scripts tailored to specific situations by studying the call records. This will make your customer feel that they’re being taken seriously and are getting a personalized response.
If your operator offers up just one of these questions, the angry customer may calm down and become more cooperative. For example, asking the customer how they rate the operator that responded to their problem informs the customer of two things: first, that you’ve taken them seriously and, secondly, that you value their feedback. A service like CloudTalk can help with its survey templates, which you can use to create a survey for the customer to answer after the call.
How Contact Center Software Can Help
Often an angry customer will hang up, and your company’s reputation will suffer if you leave it like that. Issues can easily be resolved by calling customers back, but that’s problematic if you’re not speaking on a recorded line that logs the phone numbers as well. Fortunately, most services come with callback features, such as Twilio Flex.
Of course, customer dissatisfaction can show itself in various ways. When half the world is texting, it’s only natural that some complaints will arrive as a short – or not so short – message. Up-to-date software like Freshcaller and Twilio Flex helps you handle this through an omnichannel integration that lets you answer calls, chat, and email simultaneously.
At the end of the day, dealing with angry customers is no easy feat. It requires resilience and a lot of patience. Still, with the right contact center tools and support from management, customer support agents will be able to deal with these clients the right way and even increase their loyalty. All this without feeling overworked or emotionally drained.
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