Most customer service interactions are good ones. However, there can be a time when you have a truly upset customer who targets their frustration at the agent. This can be especially difficult if there is limited recourse for the agent to take—but with the right customer service skills, you can de-escalate most of these callers and bring them to a resolution you are capable of providing.
Here are some tips for speaking to and de-escalating an angry customer during a customer service call.
Sometimes, an angry caller just needs to vent. Allow them time to do so and don’t take the frustration they are feeling personally. When you provide them the space to speak openly about their situation, you may learn more about what is bothering them and what you could do about it. Most customers apologize for their anger once they have had a chance to just let it out. So, be there for them and just listen and wait for the right moment to speak up.
When the customer has finished providing you with the details of why they are upset, smile when you talk and provide empathy. Studies show that smiling while talking can affect your voice, making it come out softer and more considerate sounding. This can also cause the customer to reflect and adjust their own tone.
At first, you may feel upset at an angry caller for seeming to be angry with you when their issue is out of your control. However, they aren’t. Maintain your calm and respond with empathy and professionalism. It is common for people to mimic the responses of others, so by keeping calm, you can help to calm your caller.
Even though the issue may be with the company you are representing on that call or something that cannot be controlled, an apology can go a long way. You don’t even have to agree with the customer’s point of view, but you should provide a compassionate apology that they are experiencing the emotions they are processing. By apologizing and showing a willingness to come to a resolution, you are showing the customer you care about their needs.
If your employees do not feel equipped to handle upset callers, have an answering service company take your business calls and manage your customer service. CallStar representatives are highly trained to take steps to de-escalate callers and be an empathetic sounding board for upset callers. Contact CallStar to discuss your customer service and call answering needs. Our phone answering services are award-winning!
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