Kattia Bolanos: How to Treat the Angriest Customer Like a VIP

Kattia BolanosThis is a guest post written by Kattia Bolanos, internet marketer for ARC Pointe Call Center Solutions.  While I give advice on how to deliver service via face to face customer interactions and ARC Pointe offers business call center solutions, Kattia’s advice can serve all customer service professionals intent on delivering the World’s Best Customer Experience whether in person or through other channels. Find out more about Kattia and ARC Pointe at the end of the post.

Customer loyalty is the key to running a successful business. If you can’t keep your customers coming back, you can’t hope to keep your doors open. If you have outsourced your customer service to a call center, it’s imperative that each agent is properly trained in the handling irate customers. That means that even the angriest customer should be treated like a VIP. Here are the steps for agents to take to ensure that irritated, frustrated, and angry customers are retained by your company:

1. Listen
There is a fine line to be balanced when listening to an angry customer. Whether your agents are providing customer service support in New York or Los Angeles, irate customers want to know that they are being heard. Agents who are too quiet make your caller feel as though he is being ignored. Agents who are too talkative make your customer feel as though he is being interrupted. Agents must utilize active listening skills. Using brief murmurs or words and phrases like “okay,” “I see,” and “mm-hmm” let your customer know that he is being heard.

2. Empathize
Agents who deliver customer support for your company must be skilled in the art of empathy. A potentially explosive situation can be diffused quickly when your agent puts himself in the shoes of the customer. An agent with thin skin may argue with your customer, making a bad situation worse. An agent who understands how to empathize will tell your customer, “I can understand how that would be frustrating.” A phrase like this creates rapport and immediately changes the customer’s state of mind.

3. Offer an Apology

An irate customer doesn’t care who works in what department. Even though agents offering customer service support in New York may be thousands of miles away from your base of operations, your customers don’t realize this, nor do they care. Agents must have a “we” attitude. Every angry customer needs to be offered an apology from the agent they speak with. The apology should be phrased in such a way that the words “our” or “we” are utilized.

4. Make Them Happy
Once your agent has listened, empathized and apologized, it’s time to fix the problem. Each agent should be empowered by you to ask the customer what it will take to remedy the situation. While one customer may want a discount off of the next purchase, another customer may want a refund for their recent order. No two customers will be pleased by the same resolution. Your agents must have the knowledge and power to fix the problem without having to transfer the customer to a supervisor.

When you agents are trained on the correct handling of an angry customer, even the most irate customer hangs up the phone feeling like a VIP. Take the time to instruct your agents how to handle dissatisfied customers. When dealt with correctly, an angry customer will turn into a happy customer and, in turn, a repeat customer.

Kattia Bolanos is the ARC Pointe Internet Marketer. She is also an article contributor focusing on call center, customer support, customer service and help desk support articles. You can contact her at kattia@apcallcenters.com

ArcPointeARC Pointe Call Center Solutions is a leader in global business process outsourcing (BPO). They offers their expertise in managing diverse inbound call center and outbound call center programs as a solution to your customer care needs. www.apcallcenters.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Customer Service

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.