When working in the support industry it’s never pleasant to deal with angry customers. In order to turn angry clients into brand promoters, call center agents and support people in general, have to follow some easy-to-say-hard-to-do steps:
– understand the profound reason of the customer’s anger
– solve their problem beyond their expectations
Call center managers need to train their agents to human psychology and anger management. While it is natural for customers to show anger and express frustration or disappointment, it’s equally crucial that agents and support people have a good understanding of the reasons why they do so.
Let’s examine what are the best ways to deal with angry customers and how to turn them into brand promoters.
Understand why a customer is angry
Agents need to keep in mind that only 6% of your customers will ever complain, express dissatisfaction or anger. However, 31% will spread the word about their bad experience and 48% of them will avoid your brand in the future.
The right call center agent’s attitude towards an angry customer is understanding where this anger comes from. Clients generally fall into 2 groups:
1. Clients get angry while they are on the telephone, often due to poor service, poor communication, lack of understanding of why things happen this way and ultimately, because of frustration.
If this is your case please consult
Phone customer support for beginners – the ultimate cheat sheet (if you are a support agent) and
20 best-practices for call-center agent training (if you are a call center manager)
2. Most people however are already angry when they call. It’s generally because they have had something happen to them: something unexpected to their situation. This ‘something’ will have caused them unhappiness, uncertainty or inconvenience.
If this is your case, read on.
How to turn them into a brand promoter
As a manager you need to train your agents to go beyond the unpleasent situation and think of it as an opportunity to either meet the customer’s needs exactly or to manage their expectations.
Agents have to adapt the way they respond to angry people. It is only then that they can take back control and create a win-win situation.
Agents have to be trained to:
– ask what happened to the customer to make him angry
It is quite possibly a lack of understanding by the customer has led to their frustration, which in turn has led to them getting angry.
– ask a lot of ‘what’ questions in order to clarify any uncertainty and get a clear picture of events.
You have to make sure you understand the problem in order to come up with a proper way to solve it. Get the bigger picture and see how you can help the customers on all the aspects of his relationship with the brand.
– understand what is the angry customer looking for: reassurance? apology? compensation?
Offer what the customer wants or propose a proper solution.
– ask the customer what they see as a successful outcome to their situation.
They might tell you they just want it sorted out or they might be demanding the moon.
In the end, the secret of success is to remain calm. Show respect and empathy to the customer by listening patiently and then put forward your point of view. Always let the customer know what you can do for them rather than what you can’t do. Offer a possible solution and ask if the customer is happy with that solution. You will seldom find that the customer says no!
If you follow the above tips, you are on your way to succeeding.