Combine both psychology methods and technology to handle customers effectively and improve customer service.
We’ve all been there: frustrated customers can be pretty harsh. The way your agents handle these interactions can either lead to a successful resolution of their issue or lose the customer forever. It’s important to provide your agents with the proper training to handle difficult personalities with grace and deal with customers effectively.
The following methods can help your agents to calm the caller, reduce their frustration, and engage in conflict resolution. Take this15 tips on how to handle clients effectively and share them with your agents.
How to deal with clients effectively—15 tips from psychology.
Share the following tips with your agents:
1. Look for warning signs.
Chances are, your customer’s anger did not come out of anywhere. Look for signs that your customer’s emotional state is deteriorating: significant changes in behavior (e.g. a talkative person who becomes quiet), or a more harsh tone of voice suggesting that the caller might be angry.
2. Allow them to vent.
When the customer has reached the point of anger, allow them the space to voice their frustrations. Spend the time that is needed, do not interrupt and occasionally show support with statements such as, “I understand,” “I agree, this can be frustrating,” etc.
3. Don’t get into a power struggle.
By giving your customer the space to speak, you are putting the ball in their court and communicating to them that their situation deserves attention. Do not try to overpower the customer by cutting them off, telling them they are wrong, or ending the conversation.
4. Identify their mood state.
Are they irritated, annoyed, frustrated, anxious, or angry? Accurately identifying customers’ emotional states will help you understand the causes of their mood.
5. Understand their anger.
Try to figure out exactly why they are angry. This may take some work on your end as sometimes the thing they are yelling about might not actually be what they are angry about. Ask yourself:
- What triggered the anger? Were they criticized, ignored, treated unfairly, or overwhelmed with hassles?
- Do they have unmet expectations, needs, or wants?
- Do they lack options?
Look at the situation from their point of view to understand their anger and find a solution.
6. Show empathy.
When the customer has finished venting, respond calmly and treat the individual with respect. Empathize with the individual with statements such as “ I understand how upsetting this must be for you.”
7. Keep your cool.
Do not let yourself be negatively affected by the customer’s anger. Always remain calm and professional. Speak softly and address the customer by name.
8. Don’t try to justify your point.
Trying to speak rationally to someone who is angry is not effective and will make matters worse.
9. Use active listening.
Try to paraphrase back what the customer has told you. Keep your statements short and simple. Avoid company jargon or referring to company policy.
10. Try to find one point of agreement.
If the complaint is valid, acknowledge that.
11. Ask for their solution to the problem.
Use phrases like “Can you tell me what you need?” and get customers to state what kind of resolution they need from you.
12. Break their problem down into manageable segments.
Start by addressing the issues that are easiest for you to solve. If the customer can see an immediate change, they will understand that you are helping them fix their problem.
13. Always have a solution.
Provide information about why something is not possible, but always have a solution that might help meet their needs. If your company cannot meet their needs, refer them to one that can.
14. Negotiate for a win-win.
Explain your viewpoint carefully and negotiate the differences.
15. Repair the relationship.
Compliment the individual. Tell a joke. Offer a refund or voucher. Do whatever it takes to make sure the customer is happy at the end of the conversation.
Technology can help to deal with customers effectively.
Technology is crucial to delivering effective customer service. Modern cloud contact center solutions are reinventing the call center, transforming customer service to do more than just deal with angry customers, but also drive growth.
Technology allows companies to:
- Deliver faster service, improving critical key performance indicators (KPIs) such as average handle time and average hold time.
- Increase agent engagement and reduce stress levels.
- Reduce costs with automation and self-service capabilities that allow companies to allocate resources to more complex queries.
- Improve the customer experience with artificial intelligence (AI) powered tools that capture, transcribe, and analyze customer interactions and find customers’ intent and sentiments to suggest the most appropriate actions.
The Great Resignation and agent engagement with Zeus Kerravala
Before you go.
Of course, customer satisfaction is influenced by an agent’s ability to empathize with customers, but technology plays a significant role in dealing with customers effectively: it puts in your agents’ hands the much-needed information and tools to provide the best customer service.
Before closing this blog, we suggest the following resources:
- Blog: Improve customer satisfaction in the call center through agents’ listening behaviors.
- Webinar: The Great Resignation and agent engagement with Zeus Kerravala.
- Report: The Inner Circle Guide to Agent Engagement & Empowerment, in collaboration with Contact Babel.
- Product demo: Talkdesk Agent Assist™.