How to Calm an Angry Customer and Use Complaints to Your Advantage

Difficult customers have a way of discouraging customer service reps from doing their job. When contact center agents feel like they can’t please a customer, it’s difficult to stay positive. Taking on the challenge, though, and finding ways to calm a customer while meeting their expectations improves the customer experience and salvages the business-customer relationship. Before you can offer a refund, freebie or other kind of help, you have to work with the customer to settle them down.

1. Listen.

Before you chime in or start resolving the problem, let the customer get out their entire complaint. Customers need to know that they’re being listened to. They won’t feel like they’re being heard if you cut them off midway through their explanation. If you eventually want the customer to listen to you, you have to first listen to them.

2. Restate the problem.

Staying quiet while the customer vents is only the first step to showing that you’re listening to them. When they’re finished, repeat the problem back to them using some of their vocabulary. This is how you can get the customer’s attention, which will then give you the opportunity to start fixing the problem and get them back on board with your company.

3. Take accountability.

Most often, angry customers aren’t calling you to simply yell at somebody; they want to be understood and they want to speak with someone who can resolve the problem. When you take responsibility for the issue and make it your own, you show the customer that you’re in this with them and that you’re willing to meet their expectations.

Using Complaints to Your Advantage

When you allow a customer to voice their problems, the brand has a chance to learn about the customer. Gather information about what the customer expects and how they’re not having those expectations met. Take the opportunity to change the system, tweak a product or make any other updates that will help improve customer satisfaction.

How to Use Tools for Capturing the Voice of the Customer

The voice of the customer isn’t only about quick-fire surveys; it’s about the entire customer journey and all of the interactions throughout. Tools that provide real-time feedback, monitoring and speech analytics, along with customer surveys, help round out the true voice of the customer. For example, if a customer takes a post-call survey and gives a poor rating, real-time response tools can connect the agent to the customer within a few minutes to resolve the issue. It’s important for information to be captured across multiple channels, including voice, web chat, e-mail and social media.

Aside from e-mail and phone calls, social media gives people a way to voice their concerns whenever and however they want. When you respond, it’s not just the customer who sees how your brand handles conflict – their entire audience will see it as well. The better you become at resolving conflict, the more devoted your customer base will be.

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