How to Deal With Angry Customers: A Call Centre Guide


Concept of negative emotions with person with a angry face bag on their head

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Dealing with angry customers is something that even the best call centre teams have to navigate. It may not be the most comfortable situation to handle, but there are benefits to dealing with unhappy customers, and valuable lessons that will benefit your call centre for the long term.

Wondering how to deal with irate customers? Here are some helpful tips for resolving issues with unhappy customers.

Why Is It Important to Deal With Difficult Customers?

Dealing with upset customers may not be the best part of a call centre agent’s day. But agents must know how to deal with confrontational issues in as professional a manner as possible. Why? Because of the importance of customer retention and your reputation.

It’s imperative to always maintain your call centre’s integrity, even in stressful situations. Other reasons why it is important that agents handle irate customers include:

It Can Turn Around the Situation to Retain the Customer.

Customers primarily want to be heard. They want to know their opinions and feelings have merit. By acknowledging their feelings and helping find solutions, you are proving your commitment to customer service.

And this is important, because 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.

Helps to Highlight Areas of the Business That Might Need Review/Further Training/Updates.

This is a huge reason to take stock of customer complaints. If there are multiple complaints about the same problem, it may mean that more attention is needed to solve the problem. Analysing and recording these issues can help your call centre team pinpoint training tools and processes that need improvement.

Helps Call Centre Managers to Identify the Tools and Procedures to Deal With Similar Issues in the Future.

The lessons learned from handling irate customers can serve as valuable lessons for the entire team. Has more than one customer complained about a certain process? If so, take note. These conflicts help establish better workflows and plans that will help your call centre team avoid these situations in the future.

How Do You Deal With Angry Customers?

Once you understand the importance of conflict resolution with your customers, you can identify ways to deal with angry customers. No matter the situation or severity, these seven tips will help your call centre team resolve issues and improve processes.

Tip #1: Stay Calm.

Staying calm is important for controlling both the situation and your feelings. Aim for a calming tone of voice, and don’t forget to breathe. Believe it or not, high-stress situations can cause people to involuntarily hold their breath.

This can lead to increased heart rates and elevated stress levels, which can make an uncomfortable situation even worse. Try to remember to take several deep, slow breaths during the conversation.

Tip #2: Be Patient.

Customers are not always patient. This is especially true for those who are angry. Showing patience with them will lead to a smoother call and a quicker resolution.

Tip #3: Listen Carefully.

Ensure you have the details of the story correct, so that you can act appropriately. Also, make sure to ask for their names. Addressing them in a more personal, sincere way will help smooth things over much more quickly.

Remember, most customers just need to get these issues off their chests. Once they can voice their concerns, they will be more open to finding a solution.

Tip #4: Reflect Their Story.

The caller must know that they have been listened to. When you summarize their issue and share it back to them, it shows you’ve heard what they had to say. Here are a few sentence starters that will help show that you’ve listened:

  • “I understand your concerns.”
  • “I hear what you are saying.”
  • “Thank you for sharing your concerns with me.”
  • “I am going to do all that I can to fix these issues.”

Tip #5: Try Not to Get Caught Up in the Emotion of the Situation.

The customer is not aiming their feedback at the agent specifically, although at times, it may feel like that. This can be emotionally taxing. But try to avoid being defensive. A defensive tone may amplify the customer’s emotions and make it harder to come to a solution.

Tip #6: Give Them Options.

Along with wanting to be heard, angry customers want to know what you will do to fix the situation. Let the customer know what they can expect to happen next. Will you make a follow-up call? Offer a refund? A voucher? Clear, efficient communication is key.

Tip #7: Don’t Take It Personally.

This is easier said than done. But try to remember that the customer is not expressing frustration with you. It is likely due to several different reasons that have nothing to do with the specific call centre agent. Try to understand their experience and put yourself in their shoes.

What would you want done in the same situation? How would you want these issues resolved?

What’s the Benefit of Dealing With Irate Customers?

Dealing with angry customers can be tough. But the experience can provide lots of benefits for your call centre team. The solutions you uncover can improve processes, refine important skills, and help your entire team resolve uncomfortable issues in a healthy and productive way. Other benefits include:

It Helps Your Business to Improve.

Identifying the reasons why customers are upset can help call centres pinpoint areas that need improvement, or places where agents need more training. This can save you considerable time and money down the road.

It Helps by Identifying Areas Where a Business Might Need to Refine a Process or Product.

If more than one customer has complained about a certain issue, it may be a signal of a larger problem. Customer feedback is an important way to examine your call centre scripts, communication points, and other areas. And make sure you focus on the end goal: improved customer service.

It Also Helps to Give Agents a Chance to Use Conflict Resolution Skills.

Listen. Be empathetic. These are just a few ways agents can deal with even the iratest customers. Though these situations are not comfortable, it is important for agents to sharpen their conflict resolution skills. These skills are helpful in the workplace and in everyday life.

Dealing with angry customers is never fun. But taking care of these situations in a professional and calm manner can turn angry customers into repeat customers.

Understanding how to deal with angry customers not only helps prevent these situations from happening in the future, but also empowers call centre agents to take control of situations in a productive manner.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Scorebuddy – View the original post

To find out more about Scorebuddy, visit their website.

About Scorebuddy

Scorebuddy Scorebuddy is quality assurance solution for scoring customer service calls, emails and web chat. It is a dedicated, stand-alone staff scoring system based in the cloud, requiring no integration.

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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Published On: 11th Mar 2022 - Last modified: 27th Apr 2022
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