Let’s face it: handling irate callers is not fun. But then again, angry customers come with the territory when you’re a customer service professional.
As such, it’s worth noting that customers are far more likely to tell their friends about their negative customer service stories rather than the positive ones.
Which goes to show that if your agents haven’t been trained enough on how to handle irate callers, your organization is bound to suffer severe losses in terms of its overall bottom line.
While you can’t please every caller, it pays to ensure that your agents are well-versed in the best practices when it comes to handling difficult customers in your call center.
Here are steps your agents can do to satisfy irate callers.
1. Sit back and listen
You can already tell by the customer’s voice that he’s upset, and he wants to tell you all about it, perhaps in the most colorful terms.
At this juncture, the best course of action is to shut up and listen.
It might be tempting to interrupt the customer if you know that it’s not entirely the company’s fault. But then again, doing so would only upset him more.
So listen. Really listen. By allowing the customer to vent his frustrations without interruptions, chances are he’ll be much calmer once he’s done.
Better yet, he might even have a better understanding of his situation or issue just by talking it out. Either way, once the customer is done talking, you’ll find that he’ll be much more cooperative.
And since you took the time to listen (and jot down notes), you’ll have a better understanding of the customer’s issue yourself and thus will be more equipped to work with him in coming up with solutions.
Once the customer is done explaining the issue, the next thing an agent should do is apologize.
And yes, the same thing applies even if the issue is the customer’s fault. This is even more, the case if the caller is upset.
It is the call center agent’s responsibility to assist, not blame the customer for mistakes or misunderstandings about a product or service he has paid for.
By providing the customer a sincere apology, an agent is making it known that he’s there to help.
3. Provide solutions and be quick about it
If the customer is already feeling angry, it will only agitate him more if the agent is a slow poke at providing answers and solutions.
So make it quick. If possible, avoid putting the customer on hold. This way the customer will feel that their issues are being addressed with a sense of urgency.
Additionally, call center managers can help agents deliver solutions more efficiently by providing them with high-end cloud-based call center software.
4. Go the extra mile
One great way to appease irate customers is to offer them some form of compensation. No surprise there. After all, everyone wants free stuff.
By going the extra mile for upset customers, you are letting them know that you’re truly sorry for the inconvenience and that you value your business relationship with them.
If you’re worried about the financial losses that come with offering freebies, just take comfort in the fact that acquiring a new customer costs six or seven times more than to retain an existing one.
On top of the tips mentioned above, call center agents can go a long way into satisfying angry customers by maintaining professionalism, patience, and courtesy at all times.
Besides, irate customers are part and parcel of running a business. Above all, businesses that employ sound strategies to make grumpy customers happy will have increased customer retention and customer satisfaction, which will bode well for their ROI.