At some point in a call center agent’s life, he or she might have encountered an irate customer. This is really inevitable; especially if you are assigned in a customer service account. It is a known fact that for every hundred friendly and understanding customers, there is one customer that just lurks in the shadows – waiting to jump out on an unsuspecting call center agent.
Sometimes it is more difficult to handle an angry, irate customer over the phone than handling them face to face. Spoken words can be more demeaning and hurtful. If you are working in a call center, you should have been prepared for situations like that. It should have been part of your customer service training.
However, let us not discount the fact that call center agents are also humans. They are not robots who just take in and do anything that you tell them. They have feelings too.
A call center agent, like you, is not always in the best of moods. There will be times that you will have an off day, and the worst thing that could happen is to receive a call from an irate customer when you are having a bad day, yourself.
In the call center industry, as mentioned earlier, irate customers are always a possibility. There is no escaping! So what you, as a call center agent, do?
Number 1 tip is to listen! Listening is the most important skill a customer service agent should master. But most of the time, some of us has poor listening skills. In order to be a good call center agent, you need to have exceptional listening skills.
So how do you calm an irate customer then? You should listen! A peace activist once said that listening is the most powerful tool in peacemaking and any other kind of social change work. If you receive an irate customer, listen first to what they have to say. These types of customers, sometimes just need to vent out their angry feelings. So as not to further agitate them, you just need to listen to their concerns.
Easier said than done! How do you listen to them if they start hurling expletives at you? Experts say that talking reduces stress and anxiety. Just let them speak, and acknowledge that you’re still there, listening, once in a while.
When your caller is irate, why wouldn’t he or she calm down even after you presented to a resolution to their complaint? It is because they are in an emotional state.
What you need to do is to acknowledge your customer’s feelings. It would help if you tell them that you understand why they are feeling that way. Acknowledgement is really critical. When we say listen to an irate customer as he or she speaks, it doesn’t mean that you cannot answer back. Customers always want to be heard and respected. If they feel that the person on the other line is sympathetic, they would eventually calm down, knowing that you are there to help them with their concerns. You may not agree with them but it still helps if you acknowledge their right to feel that way. Empathy never fails!
Be a wise call center agent. Listen! It always works!
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