Contact center employees are accustomed to dealing with different kinds of customers having varied issues. But sometimes they are faced with situations that test their ability to handle customers and provide effective solutions. One of the most challenging situations faced by the employees is handling an escalated call. It is something that no contact center employee wishes to deal with, and yet cannot ignore it if the situation crops up. For any contact center, it is important that the escalated call is handled well and the problem is resolved.
More often than not, an escalated call is the result of a scenario in which a customer is not pleased with an agent interaction and wants a senior company representative(usually a call center manager or a supervisor)to address the complaint. Any escalated call must be considered seriously by a contact center as it indicates that the center has an agitated customer to deal with. Customer conflicts can escalate quite rapidly, and if the contact center does not take specific action the situation may turn grimmer and result in the company losing the customer. But there is nothing to worry as long as you know and follow the secret of handling escalated calls.
Mentioned below are six effective steps to handle an escalated call in your contact center:
Avoid forming assumptions
Sometimes managers are predisposed to form opinions based on what their agent says about a customer escalating to someone at a higher level. If the agent tells that the customer is someone who isn’t ready to listen or is really hard to deal with, managers tend to mentally label the customer as ‘one of those difficult types’. This is one of the fatal mistakes to avoid while handling an escalated call.
Consider the customer as someone who has an issue and is misbehaving as the issue has not been resolved by your first customer service agent. This will help you to be more prone to solving the problem. More often than not, escalated calls result from the lack of knowledge or experience on part of the first customer care representative to manage the issue. Handle the call with a positive mind and be ready to calm down the agitated customer before you deal with the issue.
Comprehend the issue
When dealing with an escalated call, it is important to first obtain all the details clearly. As a manager, you must encourage your team member to present the points related to the issue in a clear and objective manner. Separate the issue from the customer. Comprehend the issue, the impact of the issue on the customer, and the solution that was already offered.This will help you to form an idea regarding why the call escalated to your level.
Be clear about your objective
You have to be very clear about your objectives while taking an escalated call. Normally, you will have two objectives: resolving the issue and handling the customer in an effective manner. Once you finish the call, write down precisely what must be done to solve the issue. Next, write down how you want the customer to feel about the company, the solution being offered, and the way the whole issue is being dealt with. This will provide you the clarity to deal with the problem and come out with a positive outcome.
Show empathy for the customer
It is important for you to come across as a confident person who is capable of and interested in solving the customer’s problem. Prepare yourself mentally to attend to the call. Begin the call by providing your introduction. Send across a positive message by telling the customer that you are anxious to help or ready to sort out the issue. Let the customer know that you have been briefed about the problem but do not tell the details. Let the customer reveal the details to you.
Allow the customer to tell the story
Take the call with an open mind, without assuming that the customer is still in bad mood as earlier. The customer could have calmed down by the time you take the call. Allow the customer to tell in detail about the problem and show compassion as he or she talks. Listen to the whole episode and then give a summary of your comprehension of the issue. Doing this will reassure the customer that you have grasped the issue and want to help him or her.
Offer the solution in a positive manner
Once you are through all the above steps, make your move to offer your solution to the issue. By this time the customer will be in a better mood to listen to you and there will be a higher chance for an agreeable solution to be reached between both the parties. Be sure to ask the customer’s agreement regarding the solution and then close down the issue effectively.
Apart from this use a contact center technology like Ameyo Call Center Software that helps the agents working in call center to improve their effeciency.