Prevent Your Customers Turning Into The Incredible Hulk
Our strategy to deflect angry callers ...
Posted by Jacqui Frost on 15/07/2013
We've all experienced it - a frustrated caller comes on the line and you've done little more than say ''hello, how can I help you'' and they seem to explode. Before you know it you have the Incredible Hulk on the line accusing you of bad service and barely letting you get a word in edgeways ...
Would you rather deal with Bruce Banner or the Incredible Hulk?
As you can imagine, we face our share of difficult callers for our clients all with a wide range of complaints. Regardless of the reason for their dissatisfaction, they all have one thing in common - they are not happy and want someone to fix the situation for them. This is where it can get difficult as we are often not able to resolve the situation for them.
This doesn't mean that callers will end the call feeling the same level of frustration. The key to dealing with frustrated customers is the same whether you are a decision maker or not.
Don't react. Stay calm - Your instinct can be to return fire and get defensive but don't fight back. Don't take it personally. Remind yourself that the caller is not the Incredible Hulk and they are frustrated at the situation not with you.
Let them vent - Don't expect them to listen to you rationally until they have vented their anger and disappointment. SO let them rant, then you can move the situation on!
Defusing the anger - When a tirade is winding down, try asking - sincerely "is there anything else?" Once they have got everything off their chest, you have an idea of what is going on and the best way to move things forward (for us at this point we can advise them who is the person who can resolve this and reassure them that we will get the right person to call them back!)
Find out what they want - Once they've calmed down you can find out what it is they are looking for. Even if we can't take action it can be helpful to let our clients know what the customer expects.
Obviously we then hand over to the decision makers to decide what offers can be made, what solutions can be considered and it is ultimately down to them to follow it up.
It is of course at this point that the Incredible Hulk can rear its head again. If you want to avoid that you need to consider giving the customer the resolution that they want - discount, refund, replacements. And make sure that if a call back has been promised that the call back has been made.
The flare up for customers is the same as Bruce Banner - it is emotional stress in relation to the situation. When things get emotional you have to handle things carefully otherwise the way the customer feels will override the resolution and tar your company in their mind. It can come down to simple statements such as "how awful, I'm not sure what is going on, that's not the way we usually do things" or "I am sorry that you have been left feeling that way, let me look into what's happened and get someone to call you back."
It's important for the caller to feel that someone is taking responsibility for sorting the issue out - even if we can't do that, we can take responsibility for getting someone else to look into it.
Ultimately the aim is to leave the customer feeling as if they are cared for by the company and feeling happy with the service they have received. This doesn't mean that it's all over once the customer has gone all hulk on you - if you can bring them back down to earth and leave them feeling all pink and fluffy then they will be more loyal a customer for you.
At The Office Genie, our team are always cool, calm and collected if we get a call from the Incredible Hulk. Why not get in touch on +44 (0) 845 901 1803 or click here to ping over an email because having your calls dealt with professionally makes the difference between retaining or losing a customer.
Be magical ...