Calming the difficult telephone customer by CSnotepad call answering service of Brighton & Hove, Sussex

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Interested in using our call answering service? Click here.

Everyone has days at work where they feel overwhelmed and stressed. However one bad telephone call with an emotional customer risks losing a valuable account. While instinctively, every business owner knows the importance of protecting the relationship with a customer, it is very difficult being warm and friendly to a customer who is rude and threatening. Outsourcing calls to a virtual receptionist means that you can divert calls to a friendly and professional telephone answering agent trained in all call handling solutions. For example we always follow these seven solid steps intuitively to help calm even the most cantankerous caller:

1. Behave professionally. Never take insults personally as it is unlikely to be the receptionist with whom the customer is angry. It is critical that you separate yourself from the customer’s emotionalism and focus on resolving the issue. More often than not the agent’s attitude has more impact on the customer than fixing the problem. This fact is often overlooked. Align with the customer by acknowledging the problem or the inconvenience caused by it rather than defending yourself or ignoring them completely. When the caller hears that you are apologetic, it is difficult for the person to continue in the same offensive manner. If you are warm and sincere in your acknowledgment statement the customer will become receptive to solving the problem in a reasonable fashion.

2. Just listen. Do not interrupt or rush the caller. While it is important to resolve the customer’s problem quickly, they will want to tell their whole story and it is the receptionist’s job to just listen until they are finished. No one likes being cut off with questions and customers are likely to take longer repeating things if they feel you are being impatient or not listening attentively.

3. Show understanding. The best way to demonstrate understanding is by acknowledging or apologising. The word “ok” is not an acknowledgment. Any acknowledgment should not be followed with “but” or “however.” It undoes what was just said. Repeat clearly your understanding of what the customer has said. This eliminates their need to be unreasonable and focuses them on a resolution.

4. Ask questions. Customers appreciate it when the telephone answering agent continues to clarify the situation. It keeps the conversation on the right track and moves it forward. Always take notes while the customer is talking to avoid missing information and remember to say “please” and “thank you” for any information being solicited.

5. Verify information. Before suggesting a solution summarise what has been said in short and concise sentences so the customer can conclude that you have been listening and fully understand the problem. Even if you have missed information the customer will be able to correct you and will realise you are making every attempt to be thorough.

6. Fix the problem. When offering a solution, tone of voice and positive, proactive language is important. People only want to hear what you can do for them, not what you can’t. Invariably there are things that the receptionist cannot solve. However they are likely to know how the client deals with certain situations and customer complaints. Therefore our job here is to calm the customer down, assure them that the issue will be resolved whilst managing their expectations. If the customer makes unreasonable demands or if an immediate remedy isn’t possible, the telephone answering agent should rephrase and repeat the solution as positively as possible and again apologise for any inconvenience. If the call handler remains calm and demonstrates sincerity, the message will eventually be accepted. Customers know not every problem can be fixed instantly or to their benefit. With a caller who continues to remain dissatisfied, it is a good idea to ask what can be done to make the customer happy. Often, it is something minimal. In the end, most customers are reasonable people.

7. Thank the customer and finish the conversation without rushing. People feel valued and appreciated when you thank them for their business and ask if there is anything else you can do for them. Telephone answering agents should always end the conversation when the customer initiates closure but not before.

The success of any business depends on effectively dealing with upset customers. When customers feel in times of distress that they have been treated with the utmost respect, they remain loyal and recommend the company to others. Paying attention to these seven suggestions is the key and you are guaranteed CSnotepad virtual receptionists of Brighton & Hove, Sussex will adhere to them.

Interested in using our call answering service? Click here.


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Call 01273 741400 or email info@csnotepad.co.uk
Opening Hours *Telephone answering is available for customers 24/7
  • Monday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Thursday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 3:00pm
  • CSnotepad
  • Gemini House
  • 136-140 Old Shoreham Road
  • Brighton
  • East Sussex
  • BN3 7BD