Working in customer service is tough job, and then you run into one of THOSE people. What should you do when you are dealing with someone who is inconsiderate, nasty and rude? Here are three tips to keeping your cool when conversations get heated.
1. Stay Calm
Obviously, this is easier said than done. However, keep in mind, your customer is frustrated. They may have come into the conversation looking to lose it on someone. Or, they may be short-tempered because they are dealing with issues of their own. Certainly, they are taking their anger out on you, but chances are YOU are not the problem. Therefore, keep your emotions in check and don’t take their comments personally. If you fight back, the situation will only get worse.
2. Restate Their Problem
Customers, especially angry ones, want to be heard. Show you are listening by repeating their problem back to them. This strategy can help you break someone away from an unproductive (and unpleasant) tirade. After all, you don’t need to know HOW upset they are but rather WHAT went wrong. For example, if the person is screaming about a late package, say, “It sounds like you are upset because your package didn’t arrive on time.” They might respond with, “Yes. So, then I didn’t have a present to give to my three-year daughter on her birthday.” Now that they’ve explained WHY they are frustrated, you’re in a better position to assist them.
3. Search for a Quick Solution
One of the best ways to silence an angry customer is to make their problem disappear. Of course, this may not be possible. But hopefully, your company has pre-approved policies in place such as refunds and replacements. The less time you give a person to work themselves into a frenzy, the easier the conversation will be. And if they still are unhappy, ask them what they believe a reasonable solution might be. They may have an interesting idea. Or they may come up with something completely unrealistic and you’ll have to negotiate. Either way, you can shift the conversation away from a rant and toward a resolution.
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, some customers will NEVER be happy. Recognize this, and again, don’t take it personally. Some people are just like that.
Also, sometimes customers cross the line. There is a difference between expressing dissatisfaction and being unnecessarily mean. If you feel a person has become insulting or threatening, excuse yourself from the conversation and call in a manager or co-worker to back you up.
Are You Good at Keeping Your Cool When Customer Service Conversations Get Heated?
At FirstStaff, our recruiters are looking for talented customer service representatives. We currently have open positions throughout Arkansas and western Texas. Apply online today and discover your next career-building opportunity!