Winning over angry customers has to be the single hardest problem customer service team’s face every day. Thankfully, in our field we do not deal with face to face interactions, so it can often be easier to handle angry customers then in person. By far the best thing you can do to win over angry customers is to give your “5-star” attitude: Sit up straight, breathe, give your full attention, be extremely patient, and be efficient. When you need some extra tips though, here are a couple great ideas that should help you provide excellent service to rude customers.
Create a Personal Connection
Remember to make a personal connection with angry customers. When you begin to connect with the customer, they start realizing that you are also a human. Customers tend to calm down once they start to understand that you care about whom they are or what their issue is, rather than just being another call they had to take.
Find the Real Issue
It is also really important for customer service representatives to dig deeper and find the real issues behind the ranting and raving. If giving the customer their options, apologizing for the inconvenience and trying to resolve the customer's issues are not good enough for the customer and they start using foul language, it is okay for representatives to say, “Customer, there is nothing more I would rather do than resolve your issue. With the language you are using right now though, it is making it difficult for me to assist you. Can we bring down the tone please?” If they continue to scream and yell then finally say, “I’m sorry you feel this way…I can see you are really upset and so I recommend that we continue this conversation at another time. I will give you a call tomorrow at a designated time to continue our conversation then. Thank you.”
Connect and Motivate your Customer Service Team
Trying to provide a “5-star” attitude, making sure we connect with the customers and also protecting our feelings, can help you stay positive with angry customers, while maybe even getting the customers to calm down a bit as well. But regardless of how much you try to stay positive, the feeling that you are left with after dealing with rude and angry customers is hard to explain. With all of my focus being on handling angry customers I decided to give each team member a goody bag. Each bag contained a pack of Q-tips, a mirror, a smile file, LaffyTaffys and thank you cards. Each item had a specific meaning.
The Q-tips were to remind each representative to Quit Taking It Personal – when an angry customer starts attacking their self-esteem they need to take a Q-tip out of the box and once the phone call is over throw away the Q-tip; hopefully the box still has some Q-tips at the end of the month. The mirror was so that the representatives can look at their attitudes while talking to angry customers. A customer can always sense a smile over the phone and it is important that we try to kill anger with kindness, and having a mirror in front of them can force them to smile. The smile file was so that at the end of the call, the representatives can go through and read the emails of other customers that were glad they talked to them and had a great experience. The LaffyTaffys, were so that in the end they can just laugh it off and move on. Lastly, the thank you cards were so that our representatives could send their individual customers personal thank you cards for ordering with our company.
The team loved the bags and the representatives have been using all of the items. I have seen a great impact in our overall attitudes and we have learned to love those angry customers that can make our job difficult!
What are some of the tips you and your team use to win over anger callers?