Call centers in the Philippines are prevalent which means the country does not lack in people sharing their encounters of working as a (call center) agent. While stories of affirmative moments are abundant, so are the experiences of having to deal with difficult customers.
Agents have to deal with an extensive number of customers every day, and it is quite a stressful job what more so with customers trying to challenge their knowledge and credibility. Customers with a constant change of heart who would say one thing over the phone, but then say an entirely different idea when it comes to e-mails, those who always treat their calls as an emergency and wants undivided attention, or those who are easily angered over small details which they do not approve. Whether it’s a total complaint over the product, or hurried demands need to be done as soon as possible, how can call center agents cope with them? Here are some tips to best handle such situations:
Don’t be emotional or sensitive
The first thing you need to remember when taking up this kind of employment is to drop the sensitivity. The customers will vent out their anger and every detail they find lacking, and each customer will lash out in different ways. Let them have their release, listen to them, but don’t take it personally. Remember, there is a line between work and private life.
Repeat the problem and apologize
After the customers have finished their ranting, acknowledge their criticisms and let them know they are understood by reiterating the dilemma. Apologize and assure them the problem will be resolved and well accounted for. When you apologize, say it with sincerity. Chances are customers can detect whether you mean it or you just want the conversation to be over.
Avoid certain triggering phrases
Phrases such as, “calm down!” or “let me put you on hold” are a big no-no. There will be a tendency the customer will perceive that you are trying to avoid them or know better than them. It’s risky to simply say, “would you like to speak to the supervisor?” without first estimating how critical the condition is at hand. Keep the conversation safe.
There are loyal customers who will get angry at first, but will give off advises over the phone on how the company could perform better next time and avoid the same mistake. Listen to them. They care about the image of the company and wouldn’t want to jeopardize its name. Take it into consideration to share with the rest of the team.
At the end of the day, it’s the new encounter with a customer which will make you smile and reflect on how to do better in the future. Just try and maintain a positive attitude. It is a contagious approach which will help deal with customers both difficult and pleasant to speak with.