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10 Tips to Help You Deal With Difficult Callers

Individuals with customer service jobs are the most prone to burnout. Working under extreme pressure, they deal with complex problems, handle tedious administrative tasks, and interact with demanding customers daily. Due to the nature of their work, these professionals must carry qualities or be trained to be more empathic, efficient, and calm under extreme stress.

Amid adversity in a fast-paced environment, service representatives need to develop resiliency. Given that they handle numerous calls each day, it’s not a surprise if they end up interacting with a demanding customer. In such circumstances, correctly assessing the situation and approaching these clients with the right tactics will help manage things with ease and avoid burnout.

If you want to improve your interactions with your customers, you’ve come to the right place. This infographic will list down useful customer service tips on how you can deal with difficult callers!

The Value of a Pleasant Customer Experience

Companies usually overlook customer experience because its success and value are difficult to measure. Yet, without a customer focus, companies won’t survive. 93% of customers say that they will make repeat transactions with a brand that provides excellent customer service. Similarly, companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%.

Indeed, during this period of commodity trap, too many products and services are the same. To stand out in a saturated industry, customer experience is the perfect way to create a competitive edge. However, providing a pleasant customer service experience can be challenging with demanding consumers.

9 Types of Difficult Customers

1.     Highly Aggressive

Aggressive customers scream, complain, and often get verbally abusive to get what they want. This behavior is because they think their needs and demands are superior to everybody else’s; hence, their needs are more urgent and important.

2.     Vague and Indecisive

An indecisive caller is notoriously fickle. Consequently, they ask lots of questions and keep shifting between different options. Not only can these discussions ramp up handling times, but they can also be confusing to deal with.

3.     Demanding and Impulsive

This type of customer usually makes decisions at the spur of the moment. Triggered by emotions and feelings, their excitement can turn into entitlement. They demand special treatment and think your business will not survive without them.

4.     Overly Critical and Cautious

Critical callers can be a considerable challenge. They seem to know it all and are very critical of your suggestions. Moreover, a problematic, over-cautious client can become a frustrating lead. They ask more questions than anyone else and hesitate to complete a sale until they’re 101% sure.

5.     Complainer

Generally, callers have complaints. And it’s a good thing because negative comments can be a rich source of constructive feedback for your company. But when you encounter a customer who makes a fuss about everything–even about the pettiest of things–you may have a chronic complainer on your hands.

6.     Impatient

Impatient callers are the kind who don’t care that something is not available or can’t be completed at the moment. They can’t imagine you don’t have some features or services available at all times.

7.     Talkative

Talkative customers tend to deviate from the real issue and talk about something else. While having someone talk your ears off is better than being screamed at, chatty customers can harm your average handle time and keep you from helping other callers in your queue.

8.     Know-it-All

They seem to know everything about anything, including your business, product, or service. But unfortunately, these callers could be highly critical and rude in their bid to showcase their knowledge. They also tend to speak a lot and dominate the conversation.

Know-it-alls believe they are always right, and it’s almost impossible to change their beliefs. This type of caller can be complicated because you can’t tell what they want.

9.     Penny-Pinching Customers

Sure, everyone enjoys a reasonable price. But some clients try to stretch things too far by asking for freebies or accusing you of nickel-and-diming them. These customers might present your price tag as life-or-death when it isn’t necessarily the case.

How to Cater to Difficult Clients

1.     Remain calm and collected

Take deep breaths and harmonize into your emotions when interacting with demanding customers. Your conversation with them is more likely to succeed if you learn to recognize and modulate your feelings. It is in your interest to relax and make every caller interaction as smooth as possible. When you stay composed, you keep the situation from escalating into a more complex discussion.

2.     Validate the customer’s feelings

The person shouting at you on the phone often wants you to recognize that they are upset for a good reason. Unfortunately, many customer service professionals tend to calm the caller because they don’t understand what is happening. Rather than telling them to calm down, try acknowledging the problem first and then finding a solution.

3.     Understand the customer’s point of view

When managing a demanding caller, take time to reflect on their point of view. Practicing empathy acknowledges the present emotional state of the caller and allows you to respond accordingly. If you want to understand their point of view better, try asking questions. Clarifying their needs will show them your genuine desire to make it right.

4.     Assess their needs

One of the most effective ways to deliver customer service is by discovering each caller’s specific needs. Understanding the caller’s expectations and the solutions they desire will help you resolve their issues more efficiently. Let the caller know that you will try everything in your power to address their complaint.

5.     Speak in a soft and understanding tone

When a customer raises their voice, it may be best to speak even more softly than usual. Speaking softly is a strategy that is useful for de-escalating tense conversations. You may want to communicate with them calmly and talk lightly. A serene presence helps to keep the situation under control. Their anger will generally dissipate as you approach the problem unaffected by the caller’s tone or volume.

6.     Practice active listening

Active listening helps you understand the significance of the caller’s words to do your best to make the situation better. Active listening is especially relevant when your customer needs reassurance that you’re engaged in the conversation.

One technique to practice active listening is to use verbal affirmations that let the client know you are listening and engaged in the discussion. It involves focusing your attention on the caller, understanding what they are saying, and responding thoughtfully.

7.     Keep communication professional

When communicating with a customer, remember that your behavior reflects your employer. Therefore, it is always good to be mindful of your words and repress any impulses to take the problematic customer’s behavior personally. To manage professional communications, keep a service-oriented demeanor. Use an even tone and show the caller that you’re open to the feedback they’re giving.

8.     Seek multiple solutions

It can be helpful to ask the customer what they need directly. Asking can help you get straight to satisfactory solutions. Focusing on solutions will give you a greater chance of resolving the situation quickly. This option is best when you’re unsure which actions would ease a customer’s mind. Knowing what they want will help you reach their expectations and find a compromise.

9.     Don’t make promises you can’t keep

It’s natural, when panicked, to tell someone exactly what they want to hear and get off the phone as quickly as possible. However, if you don’t figure out what’s wrong, the customer will either keep calling back or take their business elsewhere.

This person needs a real solution, so it’s better to tell them in definite terms what you know, and if you don’t, be transparent and tell them that you will do your best to find a resolution.

10.  Give a recap of the next steps

Before you end the call, let the caller know exactly what to expect, and then be sure to follow through on your solution. Document the call to ensure you’re well prepared for the next interaction.

The Customer is King

There are different types of difficult callers, and providing a remarkable client experience is crucial to the sustained growth of any company. To ensure that you give callers the service they expect, always be polite and prioritize their needs. If customer service isn’t your realm of expertise, you should consider partnering with a reputable outsourcing vendor.

Fortunately, acquiring EB Call Center’s Customer Service Expertise will increase sales, optimize conversion rates, and create a positive experience with your clients. As a premier call center in the Philippines, our pool of highly trained agents will treat your clients with the care and attention they deserve. Take the next step in providing a remarkable customer experience and contact us today!

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