Agent Advice: Helping Your Team Deal with ‘Angry Customers’

/ Compliance

Many contact centre staff will tell you that the patience of a saint certainly comes in handy when working in this industry. Learning how to handle disgruntled customers takes not only patience but time and skill too; it’s a necessity as customers will frequently express their frustration by aiming their complaints at staff members.

So how best do you help your team deal with disgruntled customers?

When tackling these difficult situations, it’s important to devise a strategy that encourages agents to consider the view point from both sides. A positive customer experience should also always be the aim, whatever the scenario. How agents achieve will differ, as it’s generally based on individual strengths and inter-personal skills. However, the following rules of thumb should come in handy for helping agents develop their own personal strategy for dealing with angry customers:

Listen, rather than talk

Trying to respond forcefully when someone is angry will only ever escalate the situation. Nine times out of ten, customers want to be heard first and foremost. By listening carefully, agents can firstly understand why a customer is complaining, and then take the appropriate action to remedy the issue.

Remember the 4 Ps

Always remain polite and professional…

An irate customer is likely to lead to confrontation – even if it is ‘only over the phone.’ Agents must be able to keep their cool at all times, and aim to satisfy the customer even in the most difficult situations. Only by empathising with customers, then suggesting a possible solution, will a member of staff be able to resolve the situation positively.

…And patient and positive

Patience and positivity will go a long way when trying to win over hostile customers. Even in the worst of circumstances, try to overcome all negative tendencies and adopt a happy, relaxed approach and mindset. By controlling your own anger, and not showing any of your own negative emotion, you’ll be more able to help the customer objectively and impartially.

Helping your agents deal with stress

Dealing with frustrated customers is naturally very stressful. It’s important for staff morale and the general well-being of your agents that contact centre managers are equipped to help teams deal with this stress.

Having a communal space where agents can take time away from the phone will encourage relaxation and also teamwork. Furthermore, agents that have time (and practice) building rapport with one another will be more likely to do so with customers on the phone.

Have you considered workforce management?

Implementing workforce management software is one way you can help agents in their daily work. Workforce management looks at all the different interactions within your contact centre and your business and using statistical analysis makes sure you have the right staff with the right skills in place to meet your goals.

As this solution allows you to be flexible with your shifts and staff, you can use this flexibility to meet your agents’ needs, which will in turn help them meet all customers’ needs – not just the ones that are already calling to express their dissatisfaction with a service.

To discuss workforce management and how it could help your agents, get in touch with Daviker today. Our team will get to know your operation and can even arrange a free demo, so you can see how workforce management would benefit your business in situ.