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How to Handle Difficult Customers

A lot of people think that working in a call center is so easy. You just have to go to the office, set up your tools and system requirements, put on your headset and answer phone calls for the entire shift. It sounds easy when you put it like that, besides, once you remove your headset, you’re free. That’s not to mention the different incentives you receive like night-differential, hazard pay, performance bonus and other freebies and stuff. However, what many did not understand is the stress brought to you by the phone calls you answer every day – the movement of your mood because your current call is from a very nice old lady, then your next call would be from a middle aged woman who is completely equipped and ready for a screaming match. Then there is this customer who acts like a know-it-all and being difficult, asking for all kinds of assistance and credits that you may start to think that this customer is actually trying to reach a charitable institution instead of the company you represent.

Difficult customers are already a part of call center life. Some agents appear to be experts in handling them, mastering the art of indifference towards the drama and the insults (the customer is upset of the situation anyway). Though there are those who find it hard to tolerate this kind of callers that they would just press that magical release button and before they know it, they already have lost their jobs. So how do you handle difficult callers? Is it really possible to pacify them?

First of all, bear in mind that they are upset of the situation they are in – their phone is off, the service sucks, etc., and not at you. So don’t take it personally. As a specialist, you represent the company and the account that you handle, and therefore, your customer would vent at you, because you are the only person they could actually speak with regarding their issue with the company. Keep calm and empathize with them. Listen to their vents, and when it’s your turn to speak, resolve the issue right away. Unresolved issues would make them call you back, making them more upset than ever.

Of course, you are not being paid to just accept and absorb the shouts, and worse, the bad words and insults from these customers. Once your customer starts being rude and uses expletives, then give him warning that profanity is not tolerated. After two to three mentions of this and the customer doesn’t seem to understand you, then you are allowed to drop the call.

Don’t let the difficult customers get you down. Prove them instead that you are the better person by giving them excellent customer service.

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