One of the most unavoidable challenges for the customer service department in any business is to deal with unhappy customers. And dealing with them poorly can lead to an increase in customer churn rate, time and energy-consuming conversations, and an unpleasant outcome. Especially now that the social media and the internet in general, has given individuals a stage to reflect their voice and share their opinion. All of this can impact brand reputation negatively.
Taking the time to listen carefully to the customer, sympathise with them, absorb their anger, and provide solutions, can help defuse this angry customer, and provide a great customer service experience. Let’s go through some acquirable knowledge and skills that would help us turn this unhappy customer into a favourable business opportunity.
1. Adjust your mindset, be patient and don’t take it personally
Always put yourself in the customer support and retention mindset! Obviously, the customer contacted you because he or she is frustrated about something. This has nothing to do with you and the customer is not trying to give you a hard time, so don’t take this criticism personally.
The customer contacted you for help and maybe to vent out a bit. But all that matters is that you realize that your customer is not happy and your job is to support him and solve his problem. Adjust your mindset, focus on the fact that you are helping the client, be patient, and remain professional in order to succeed.
2. Let the customer vent it out and perform active listening
Angry customers only need someone to vent their anger too, and today, you happen to be this person. Don’t interrupt them because it will only irritate them more. But listen carefully to what they have to say, make notes, and reassure the customer. Reassure them that they have your attention, that you have been listening, that their message did get through, and you intend to help them. You can reassure the customer by repeating what he or she said.
However, try resisting the temptation to jump to conclusions about what happened and by trying to solve the situation immediately, without fully digesting what the customer said or wants. Always treat each phone call or email or even text message individually. A don’t project certain behaviour on all of the customers, because they too just want their problem solved with the least friction.
3. There is power in using their name
There is a bonus which you can use! And it is to interject the customer’s name several times during the conversation! Addressing them with “Ma’am or Sir” sounds more formal and less sincere. Using their name implies that they are talking to a real person. For products as well as people, customization is the solution works very well! Give it a try!
4. Apologize sincerely
A sincere apology can work like magic. Most of the time, the customer only wants someone to apologize for the bad service he or she received.And that is regardless of whether or not you think that his complaint was reasonable, or if he was exaggerating about the situation. So just express a sincere apology because of the inconvenience he or she went through.
5. Show empathy
Customer service department is grounded in empathy. It is about understanding why your customer is upset and making him understand that you are here to help him. It’s not only about an insincere apology, but about letting them know they’re valued, and that you will work your best to solve their problem. Showing empathy to upset customers when engaging with them prevents them from churning, turns them into loyal customers, and strengthens their relationship with the brand.
6. No matter what, find a solution
Do your best to fix the issue and find a solution. Throughout your experience, you will encounter different types of customers with different types of issues. And one solution might not work with all customers, as they will require different solutions for the same issue, so fix each problem for each customer individually.
Some issues will require simple solutions like a discount, a partial refund, a full refund, or even a replacement. But others will require higher interference, more consideration, and bigger action. And always make sure to verify that the suggested solution can be implemented, and then only, take action.
7. Take Action and Follow-up
Once you have found the solution to the problem, take action immediately. Share this information with the client to assure them that the problem has been solved. You can share your name and contact details with the customer, just in case any problem arises again. Next, follow up with the customer once the situation has been resolved and make sure that they are happy with the resolution.
8. Use the Feedback
Finally, learn from the experience and work on preventing the situation from happening again. If you haven’t identified the root cause of the problem yet, then look for it. This will help you acquire stronger problem-solving skills and ensures that you manage future complaints redressal effectively.
A further tip: You can use tech solutions to enhance the customer experience journey, turning it into a pleasant outcome for the customer and the business. An agile communication and customer management tool like NeoDove can offer an opportunity to turn this unfavourable customer experience into a profitable change and drive business.
How is that? With features like the call recording and call forwarding system, NeoDove,a contact centre communication platform records relevant data and information about the customers in real-time. This helps managers to assess the agent’s performance during the call and provides other agents with complete insights into the unhappy customer journey, making the process of communicating with the customer more valuable, accurate, efficient, and productive. And for effective re-engagement with customers, agents can automate call-backs for follow-up, based on the date and time set by both the agent and the customer.