10 Tips to Handle Angry Customer Calls
Our virtual receptionists have been handling business calls for thirty years and in that time we have had our share of angry customers on the telephone. Being a startup company, you really have to quickly resolve and address any complaints or issues your new customers are experiencing if you want to survive long-term. Our call center’s number one business advice for startups is to make sure you properly handle angry customer calls so that you do not tarnish your new business’s reputation. Read on and allow us to provide you with 10 tips on how to handle an angry caller.
Tips for handling angry customer calls
1. Great customer service starts with proper training.
Most startup businesses do not have the capital to hire employees and a support team. However, if you do have an employee or on-site receptionist that handles your incoming calls it is imperative that you take the time to properly train them.
“I don’t know,” is something that a disgruntled customer never wants to hear during a heated conversation. You and/or your receptionist need to understand your company’s overall workings, limitations and answers to FAQ before attempting to help an angry caller.
2. Remember to keep your cool and never take anything personally.
Chances are you will be the one answering all incoming business calls as you start bringing your products and services to the market. For business owners it is so easy to take things personally. You have just spent a considerable amount of time, money and energy to become an entrepreneur and it’s a sensitive subject for you.
That being said, you need to constantly remind yourself not to take things personally. These angry callers are not trying to yell at you as a person, they feel they have been wronged in some way and are trying to vent their frustrations. If you thicken your skin and do not negatively react to an angry caller, you will be more levelheaded and calm to control the direction of the call.
3. Don’t just hear the angry customer’s complaint, really listen.
To be an active listener, you have to really give the angry caller your undivided attention. Don’t just hear their complaint; really listen to the individual examples or statements given by the caller. When you actively listen you will be able to get past the anger and frustration of the caller to reach the core of what their complaint really is.
4. Kill them with kindness as you repeat their concerns and complaints.
Allow your disgruntled caller to vent and get out all their negative energy. Sometimes a person just needs someone to complain to and the issue will resolve itself. Be as kind as possible. Who can be mean and yell at a person who is clearly trying their best to be kind, professional and attentive?
Kindly repeat the core complaints to your caller to confirm their grievance. Your caller will calm down a bit during this phase because they hear that you are acknowledging their issues.
5. Master the art of giving an empathetic and sincere apology.
In order to be an effective customer service representative you have to have a certain level of empathy. Think about the last time you called a business to complain and how upset you were. No matter if your customer is wrong or if your business is wrong; in order to keep that customer, you will have to do your best to change their opinion.
A sincere apology goes a very long way. Understand and empathize that your customer is having to take out precious time of their life to call you and complain.
6. Excellent training comes into play while you try to find a solution.
Knowing your startup business’s capabilities and limitations will come in handy during this stage. You have confirmed your angry caller’s chief complaints and concerns and now it’s time to find a solution.
Our business advice for startups is making sure a refund solution is the very last scenario that you offer your customer. Find creative ways to make your caller happy without losing profits or inventory.
7. Discuss the solutions and turn the angry caller’s frown upside down.
Be positive, optimistic and energetic while you explain a possible solution to your caller. Make your customer feel good about flipping their emotion from angry to satisfied. Encourage them that your solution will eliminate their complaint(s) and that you will do everything necessary to complete the transaction so they can go on with their day.
8. End the call with an apology and find out how you can improve.
End the call with a sincere apology and take it a step further by expressing genuine gratitude to your customer for bringing their complaint to your attention. Make them feel confident that their phone call was highly beneficial in helping your startup business improve customer satisfaction. Now is a good time to ask your customer for additional feedback on how you can better serve them in the future. Be prepared to take notes and implement new procedures or practices.
9. Take a break; you’ve earned it after staying calm and collected.
Before you even think about talking to another customer, go ahead and take a quick break. Clear your mind and get back in a neutral zone so that pent up anger does not leak into other conversations with customers.
10. Implement a new procedure to follow up with angry customers.
Why don’t you go ahead and create a task on your calendar to quickly follow up with your angry customer in a week. This is a great way to show your customer you care by giving them extra personal attention.
A follow-up email or phone call could take less than five minutes of your time but can possibly ensure five more years of business from that one customer.
We hope our business advice helps with handling angry customer calls
Are you too busy to worry about how to handle angry customers? Our business advice for startups is to take advantage of our affordable answering services. Our basic plans start as low as $19.95 per month and our customer service is award winning. No really, we have won dozens of national and international awards for our helpful, friendly and professional customer service.
Start the conversation, give us a call at 1-800-785-6161 and speak with an account specialist to discuss how we can help your startup business thrive.