The success of a business depends upon all its stakeholders such as employees, customers, investors, and others. Customers are a vital company asset. Sometimes, businesses have to deal with angry, and difficult customers which makes the sales process quite challenging for the employees. Therefore, it is wise for companies to be prepared for such situations beforehand to avoid them altogether.
Good customer experiences cannot be created by hiring agents only. These agents need to have an efficient system in place which is where contact center workforce management comes in. Having the right skill set, and processes also keeps the agents motivated and engaged to serve the customers well.
Tips to Manage Challenging Customers
Successful businesses rely on good customer service. Companies that offer exceptional customer service have the power to retain their customer base. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. At times, businesses end up dealing with difficult customers that present unique challenges which can only be addressed if a contact center’s staff has the appropriate training.
The pattern of responding to difficult customers may vary from situation to situation. Therefore, agents should be fully equipped with the skills to manage any challenging scenario. Let’s have a look at some useful suggestions for agents to deal with difficult customers.
- Be Calm and Apologetic
Disappointed customers usually take out all their anger on customer service representatives. Hence, dealing with angry customers takes a lot of patience. Contact center agents must be trained to efficiently handle such scenarios. They should remain calm, apologize, and direct their emotional energy toward problem resolution. Instead of taking the customer’s frustration personally, it is better to stay objective and focus on the issue at hand. Offering an apology combined with an appropriate response can lead to a completely satisfied customer who may even return for repeat purchases.
- Listen To Them
When customers are fuming, it is best to listen to them first before hurriedly proposing a suitable solution. Even if contact center agents are already familiar with the issue, they should let the customers take their time to explain themselves without any interruptions, so they don’t feel unheard or rushed. When customers feel that they are being valued, it leaves a good impression on them. So, it is best to listen calmly, and then respond accordingly once the customer is done talking.
- Use Empathetic Statements
When customers feel validated and understood, they feel much better. Therefore, as a contact center agent, it is important to use simple empathetic statements that show that the company understands the customers’ pain. In situations where the company is at fault, it is best to let the customers know the cause of the issue and apologize. Moreover, always try to be truthful. Customers can easily figure out when an agent is not being straightforward, and it only makes them more annoyed.
- Avoid Quick Solutions
While dealing with difficult customers, customer representatives feel pressurized to provide an instant solution to their issues to satisfy them. However, a better idea is to remain patient and first think of an effective solution that will address the root cause of the issue appropriately. It requires the contact center staff to listen actively, search for the underlying cause and then come up with several solution options.
- Follow Up with Customers
To establish good relationships with customers, it is important to reach out to them when they need it the most. After providing an appropriate solution, it is ideal to make a follow-up call to ask if the issue has been resolved completely and if there is anything else they need help with. This effort leaves a positive impression on the customer and makes them feel valued.
The Last Word
Difficult customers are far more valuable than ones the company hasn’t even reached out to yet. At times, companies may feel they are just wasting their time dealing with a demanding customer that keeps coming back with recurring issues. But that’s not entirely true. Such a customer is much more precious than a disengaged one. The reason these customers are coming back to the company is that they trust the company and just want help using the products in a better way. If the company can offer the appropriate assistance to them, they might even become loyal customers.