7 Tips on Handling Difficult Customer Calls on the Phone

7 Tips on Handling Difficult Customer Calls on the Phone

By ASA Staff Writer | May 18, 2018

Dealing with customers on the phone is a tedious task. You are prone to misinterpretation, which often leads to angry clientele. A mad customer is still a customer, and the goal is to make these people feel important so they will continue making business with us.

So how do you deal with all types of customers, ranging from the fault-finders to constant complainers? Here, we’ll share seven simple tips on how you can handle them over the phone.


Sound Positive


Customers may begin with their rant once you’ve answered the phone. Using a positive tone at the start of the dialogue may help cut the outburst of the person on the other line by breaking the momentum. Sounding sincere and attentive can help him or her feel comfortable throughout the conversation.

Also, control the speed of your speech. It will be hard for the customers to follow the conversation if you’re speaking too fast and anything slower will infuriate them. Avoid slang and fillers because this will lose the customer’s confidence in your ability to solve their problems. Worse, failing to express yourself properly can magnify their frustration.


Listen to the entire story.


Unsatisfied customers want their complaints to be heard. Thus, never interrupt them while they vent out their concerns. Reserve your questions and clarifications after they’ve completely expressed their issues. Listening carefully will help paint a clearer picture of the problem at hand. Don’t forget to take notes to avoid asking the customers to repeat what they just said.


Build Rapport with Empathy

Imagine yourself in your customer’s shoes and sense where their frustrations are coming from. Express that you fully comprehended their concerns without saying negative things about your company and the situation. Genuine care means easing the situation of the difficult customers. If it’s a matter of urgency, you should react quickly. If it’s a matter of security, tread carefully. If it’s a matter of inaccuracy, get the facts straight. This way, the customers will feel that you completely understood the situation and that you can respond in the best way possible.



Apologize for the inconvenience

Nowadays, one simple mistake can give you celebrity status overnight. Lose your temper while talking to a customer and your company’s profile will be all over the internet. To avoid this sort of unwanted attention, start by apologizing for the inconvenience they experienced, regardless whether they are right or wrong. By making the customers think that they have the upper hand, you are opening the topic up for discussion. Always keep in mind that you represent your workplace. Anything that comes out of your mouth will either make or break your company.



Avoid blaming the Customer.



Everyone has heard of the “the customer is always right” business mantra. They call because they need help with their problems. Hence, never blame them for bringing up their concerns–unless you want to magnify their rage. Learn to acknowledge their issues without sounding arrogant and condescending.


Fix the problem straight away

Difficult customers don’t have the patience to wait. They want their issues addressed as soon as possible. If you know how to resolve the issue at hand, tell them point blank the things they need to do. If they continue to ask questions, answer them with compassion. Keep in mind that narrating instructions over the phone is not easy, so make sure that you explain the tasks in the simplest way possible.


End the call only when the customer is already satisfied



Lastly, always aim to exceed the customer’s expectations. Every phone conversation is an opportunity to create a lasting impression. Before ending the phone call, make sure that all issues have been resolved and the customer clearly understood both the problem and solution. Also, give the customers additional information relevant to the issue which can come in handy in the future.

Moreover, if you promise to call them back, make sure that you actually do! Break a promise and you’re back to square one.

To wrap it up, a difficult phone call with an unruly customer can be a good learning experience if it’s handled properly. All you need is utmost dedication to do your job right and the passion to provide the best service to your customers for things to run smoothly. If all else fails, don’t fret! Nowadays, it’s not difficult to find an outsourcing company which can handle your phone calls for you. The people working in this industry are trained to handle all types of calls, so your customers–and your reputation–are sure to be in good hands.

ASA Staff Writer

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