If you’re in business long enough – particularly the customer-facing variety – you will ultimately, inevitably receive a call (or an in-person visit – lucky you!) from an individual who is not at all pleased with how you or your crew have done things. Customer retention depends highly on your ability to diffuse a tense situation.
How you react in that moment will not only determine whether the individual in question remains your customer, but also determine how likely this individual will remember the reaction in a positive or negative way.
The 5 following customer retention tips can help you keep cool under fire.
- Never take things personally. You’re just the person who had the good fortune to answer the phone. While at times it may be difficult to take the high road with an upset or irrational caller, try to keep in mind that the customer feels taken advantage of, ignored, or is upset with the situation, not you! Chances are, you’ve felt the urge to make an angry call once or twice before – regardless of whether you acted on the impulse.
- Don’t retaliate. Human nature being what it is, it’s likely an irate caller spewing insults and would ruffle your feathers. Stay cool. Keep calm. Listen.
- Lending an ear is, by far, the most effective tool in your arsenal at this point. Your good nature, ability and opportunity to be a sounding board, and a willingness to put yourself in your customer’s shoes can go a long way in diffusing a situation without saying much at all.
- Be sincere and offer an apology (if appropriate). Apologizing for a customer’s dissatisfaction – perceived or otherwise – does not need to be the same as admitting fault or guilt. Try this: “I’m sorry this has been so frustrating for you. Let’s see what we can do to make things right.”
- Get to work. Problem-solving must be the end result of this tirade session, otherwise all of the listening and sincerity was for naught. This doesn’t mean that you need to end the call having righted the ship, entirely – but you should at least lay the groundwork for a mutually beneficial solution.
Angry calls happen. Referring to the above customer retention tips can help you to make the best out of a bothersome situation.
Edwards Answering Service has been answering on behalf of our clients for more than six decades. Our team is dedicated to helping your business run smoothly, even with your most difficult callers! Our skilled agents are adept at answering phones for a number of different industries and treat each and every call with professionalism and understanding.
Call us today at 800-606-3273 and find out how the Edwards’ team can benefit your business! Ask about our free trial.