If your company is like Central Comm, most of our customers love us, and they rarely get angry with us. But we answer phone calls for other people’s company’s and sometimes their customers get really upset.
What do we do when we answer those calls? First, our people always try to step back for a moment. It’s difficult NOT to react when someone is berating you and yelling in your ear. So, stop, take a deep breath, say just enough so they know you haven’t hung up, and let them have their say.
If there’s no break in their tirade, look for a way to gently cut in. The next thing you can do, once they have decided to let you talk, is to repeat back the issue as you heard it. Let them know you listened and understood what was bothering them. If you don’t have a clear understanding, you are going to have to ask more questions, which can get them riled up again.
The next thing you can do is let the right person know there is a situation, explain it to them, ask them to follow up, and if it’s appropriate, you follow up as well.
Sometimes, an upset customer is not angry, they are just in an urgent situation. It’s not always easy to know right away which situation it is. That’s why it is always important for our people to take that step back, listen, try not to react, and then come up with a plan and follow it through.
Let me give you an example. We handle overflow calls for a payroll company. Somehow there was a mistake and incorrect information was emailed to their clients. The President of the company called us and asked that we take all of their phone calls for the remainder of the day while they focused their attention on clearing up the issue.
We knew in advance, in this situation, that we would be receiving phone calls from concerned or upset clients. Armed with the facts and the assurances they were working diligently to correct the situation we were able to keep their clients from getting more upset and assure them everything would be put right.
Our customer called us later in the day and thanked us profusely for keeping things calm while they corrected the problem. If the customer had to field all of those calls, or quite possibly miss some of them, the situation could have been far worse. We, at Central Comm, were happy we helped them take a difficult situation and turn it around.
Could you use a Central Comm on your side? Give us a call.