Everything your customers say should be valued highly by your company, because even the most generalized and offensive complaints can still lead to some sort of productive action on your company's part later on down the line. It's a tricky thing for a phone answering service to manage, since you need a person on the phone who can convey human emotions and sympathy while maintaining a hold on a possibly volatile situation.
But regardless of how the individual operator performs, there are some basic things that all customer service representatives should know instinctively when they receive critical news. It could be in the form of a livid email, a series of public shaming on a social network, or even the dreaded angry phone call that later goes viral on YouTube. In all cases, your company's failure to provide should be seen as a chance to grow.
Washington Times contributor Drew Hendricks writes about how the grace with which a company responds to a disappointed or angry customer online carries lots of weight and should not be taken lightly. Though he speaks specifically about responding to bad Yelp reviews, the online customer services teams of companies could apply these same principles to the messages they exchange.
"If you choose to respond to negative feedback online, do so with caution," Hendricks writes. "Keep your response brief and courteous, offering to remedy the customer's issue if he or she will simply contact your privately. Never engage in a war of words with a customer online."
Staffing a call center or other support hub with professionals who know the score already can save you time in worrying about this.