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How to deal with Frustrated Customers in a Call Center?


In my previous blog, we discussed on the 10 Most Common Customer Frustrations that every call center should avoid. But by just trying to avoid them won’t help you. You should learn and train yourself to deal with customers who are frustrated, or worse, who are at the edge of switching. Handling customer aggravations promptly and in the right way would not only eliminate the chance of customers switching, but also improve their trust. So here are a few ways that will help you deal with infuriated customers in call centers;

  1. Listen for the Complaint: There is a fair share of customers who prefer not be labelled as ‘complainers’ or ‘naysayers’. They try to hide their complaints in feedbacks or dislikes. Customer service representatives in the call center should be trained to identify complaints when they hear one, and respond appropriately. If your agents or reps responds only to complaints labelled as one, you will be losing an opportunity to delight your customers and surprise the rest of your customers by resolving their issues beforehand.
  2. Acknowledge and Apologize: Even if your representatives don’t enjoy dealing with customers complaining, they should always thank customers for bringing them to your attention. When customers raise a concern, it demonstrates their confidence in your team in resolving their issue and getting things right. They are giving you a second chance to satisfy them, when they could have easily switched to your competitor at the drop of a hat. If they are willing to stick by our business you should be hell-bent to sort out their problems.
  3. Shorten holding time: There is nothing worse than asking your customer to wait when he is frustrated. That is pretty much like pushing him/her over the ledge yourself. Employ tools and technologies like ACD systems (automatic call distributon systems) which can minimize holding time, and distribute calls to agents appropriately. Always value your customers time.
  4. Find the solution without having to transfer: When you transfer a customer from one line to another, you magnify their anger at every transfer. It is important for your business to find the solution as soon as possible and without transferring the call. Technologies like skill-based routing directs the call to the appropriate agent, train your agents so that they are capable of handling basic technical troubleshooting problems and when they can’t resolve one by themselves, have them conference a skilled agent to the call rather than transferring the customer. Always try to resolve the concern or request in the first call.
  5. Equip your Agents: Since call center representatives receive mostly complaints than other calls, it is important for your agents to be trained to deal with customer concerns efficiently and professionally. They should also have the authority to resolve them.
  6. Follow up: Go above and beyond resolving complaints. Follow-up with a call or an email a few days later to ensure customer satisfaction with the resolution. This will transform a frustrated customer to a loyal satisfied customer.
  7. Train your Agents: Make sure you train your reps to a T. Train your agents to handle customers professionally and effectively, and never to lose temper. Leaving it at training is not enough. Monitoring customer calls and the following calls make sure that things are moving smoothly.

Even if you live by these ways, it does not ensure the customer to be satisfied. Remember that there will be customers who can never be appeased. This should not stop you from giving it your best shot.


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