What if the most important thing to you was also the most important thing to your employer?
If you work in a customer service call center then this is very likely true. For example, if you answer customer phone calls for a living, the last thing you want to do is hear an angry caller when you pick up the phone. Your employer also worries about bad customer experiences because it impacts their bottom line.
In fact, 84% of companies that focus on improving customer service also experience improved revenue. Ready to help your employer while making life easier for yourself at work? Keep reading to discover our top secrets for turning a bad customer call around!
1. It’s Good to Let Angry Callers Vent
When you hear that a customer is angry, your first instinct is likely to make things right as quickly as possible. But if you cut off what they are saying, even to simply apologize, you may end up making the caller even angrier.
Instead, you should let them vent their angry feelings. It may not be pleasant to hear, but once the customer gives you a piece of their mind, they will be in a better headspace to have a productive conversation.
Additionally, a venting customer will give you valuable clues about what has made them so mad. If you listen carefully, you will be able to present actionable solutions after they calm down.
2. Be Transparent About Customer Options
One thing that can make angry callers even angrier is if they think you are going to just take the company’s side. However, you can sometimes turn an angry call around by simply reviewing the options available to customers.
For example, if someone is angry over a product or service they received, you should make them aware that a refund is possible on top of other options, such as sending them a replacement item. Once customers realize that getting their money back is possible, they are likelier to let you troubleshoot the problem because they trust a customer service specialist who is offering multiple ways to make things right.
3. Always Show Empathy when Callers are Angry
Nothing is quite as important in customer service as empathy. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of applied empathy to help calm down angry customers and turn the call around.
There is only one problem with this strategy: Empathy is the one thing you can’t really fake in customer service. If you aren’t sincere with the customer, they may think you are mocking them and get even angrier.
Practice empathy by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. After that, try to offer them the kind of customer service you would want if the same thing had happened to you!
4. Offer Your Caller a Sincere Apology If Possible
One of the best ways to defuse an angry call center customer is to offer them a sincere apology. Make sure to check your company’s policies before doing so. Some companies forbid employees from apologizing because they fear this will be an admission of fault.
So long as you are able to apologize, though, it’s important to do this with angry callers. If you or your company genuinely made a mistake, an apology can go a long way. Even if your company is completely in the right, you can calm angry callers down by sincerely apologizing for how your company has made them feel.
5. Be Clear About the Next Steps
When call center customers are angry, it’s usually because they feel a company wronged them in some manner. If you want to quickly defuse the situation, make sure to be transparent to the customer about the next steps you are going to take to make things right.
As an example, let’s say that someone calls to report an error on their account. You should apologize for the error, tell them you are identifying the issue, and explain what will happen next. Once customers know the “game plan” for fixing the issue, they will not be as angry because they see you as someone on their side in the quest to make things right.
6. Offer Upset Callers a Perk as an Apology
Sometimes, the best way to turn a bad customer call around depends on what you are authorized to do. For example, if you are in a position to do so, you should consider offering angry customers discounts, coupons, or other perks in exchange for mistakes.
Angry call center customers are already even more mad by the time they have to spend calling you to make things right. When you offer some kind of perk as an apology, it shows that you consider the customer’s time valuable and wish to give them something in exchange for the time they are spending on this call.
7. Express Gratitude Toward Your Call Center Customers
One of the best ways to defuse an angry call involves how you respond to the customer’s concern. No matter what the issue is or how you ultimately resolve it, you should respond to the customer’s initial complaint by thanking them for bringing this issue to your attention.
Doing so shows the customer that you are on their side and will not be responding to their anger with your own. It also reinforces the idea that what happened to the customer was not supposed to happen and that by making your company aware of the problem, the customer is helping you deliver a better experience for all customers.
And at the end of the day, it’s hard for most customers to stay angry with a call center customer service representative who is expressing gratitude for the call. Better customer service is also likely to get you noticed by management.
Find the Best Call Center Customer Service Job Today!
Now you know how to turn a bad call around. But do you know where you can put your customer service skills to their best possible use?