We have all called a customer care call center at least once in our lives. Be it for putting in a complaint, asking for activation or deactivation of service, or maybe just for general information. And more times than not, the executive can answer our queries in a calm and composed manner.
However, now and then, when the problem escalates, all we want to do is just give the call center guys a piece of our minds. In those moments, the same calm and composure of the call center executives but scripted behavior tends to tick us off. And we turn into an angry caller.
How to Manage Angry Callers?
While there are very few things that can be told to the customer to get them calmed down, if you are on the listening end of it, there are some things you can do. Here are a few ways how you can handle an angry call center customer:
When you see a caller on your call center software, you are bound to answer their call. One of the essential things about handling angry customers is listening to them. Before you offer them any solution or say anything, plainly listen. At the root of any or every angry customer, they just want their grievance to be heard. And by listening, you are helping them calm down to an extent.
The natural go-to response to handle an angry customer is saying “calm down.” And in almost all cases, this only drives them up the wall even further, where the angry customer doubles down on their anger. So, the best approach is to give them validation. Accept that there is a problem, and tell them that you will provide them with a requisite solution.
3. Don’t react emotionally
While it’s easy to get carried away in emotion, as a call center executive, that is a strict no-no. Instead, you have to ensure that you treat the client objectively and don’t get personally invested in their anger and rants. Despite them pushing you to your limit of patience, treat them objectively as just another problem you need to solve. Put a third-person perspective to it, and then solve it without emotion.
4. Train to be pleasant
Even though you might be a friendly person in your daily life, angry customers or angry callers can bring out your ugly side. To prevent that from happening, training to remain present even under such circumstances is imperative. Maintaining a composed tone of voice can help big time. And it is just like driving- the more you do it, the better you get at it. Proper training for the call center agents will help them to handle the situation in a good manner.
5. Staying Calm and Courteous
Calmness and Courteousness are virtues that are held in high regard in a call center executive, especially for an inbound call center executive. While it’s natural to zone out when the customer is venting their anger, staying calm, courteous, and welcoming can help. And that can only happen when we don’t take anything personally.
6. Be empathetic
Empathy is often confused with sympathy and practised as such. And an angry customer does not want sympathy or pity for the issue they are facing/faced. They want their problems answered. To prevent such issues from happening, put yourself in your customer’s shoes to thoroughly understand their situation. Then, armed with the outbound call center software at your disposal, find the best solution you can offer without getting emotionally invested. This will allow the customer’s problem to be solved with the least amount of hassle.
7. Get to the root cause of the problem
During the entire period when the customer tells you about their situation, you start understanding their pain. And when you start understanding that, automatically, you will start using your call center software to find the root cause of the problem. This will help you narrow down and give the customer the precise steps they need to find the solution.
8. Reiterate the problem backed by facts
Make sure that you come back to the main issue that the customer is facing. Instead of giving them a solution to something they don’t want, make sure to come back to the main points. And come back with facts and reasons that reaffirm to the customer that you will solve their problem.
9. Give them more than one solution
At times, there might be just one solution to the problem that the angry customer faces. But most of the time, the call center system is adept at providing multiple solutions to the difficulties the angry customers face. This actually puts the ball in their court on which answer they want to take. Furthermore, it gives them the feeling that they control the situation and get what they want, which is the key to handling angry callers.
10. Be honest and admit when you don’t know
A childhood lesson that honesty is the best policy works wonders while handling angry callers. They are primarily mad because they are not getting the solution to a problem. Instead of lying and misleading them can turn out as a backlash, which will further aggravate them. So, if you don’t know what to do, admit it without being afraid and transfer them to the requisite personnel, which is pretty easy with inbound call center software.
11. Don’t put them on hold
We have all seen the episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. when Phoebe was on hold for a day. While she was patient enough to hold, angry callers aren’t. At the core, they just want to be heard who can give them a solution. Putting them on hold will only make matters worse for you since their already low patience will drop to new lows, and you won’t hear the end of it.
12. Say what you do and do what you say
False assurances, false promises, and misguidance can cause problems and trust issues with the angry caller. This will ultimately cause a bombardment of calls or lost business. To avoid both of these, just let them know that you are working to provide them with a solution. Tell them what you do and don’t know, but make sure they believe that their problem will be solved.
13. Prepare a script for agents
More times than not, having a script handy can help you prepare for such contingencies. Practice the script in a live environment with your manager, colleagues, or with yourself in a mirror. This will prepare you in advance for what response you can use to handle a certain kind of problem.
14. Increase the reliance on technology
Using a dedicated virtual call center software or a call center system in general, you can use the call recording or call forwarding features. With these recordings, you can efficiently train the staff on how to handle such customers. This will allow the new trainees to understand the tone of voice to use and the steps to take to handle such customers.
15. Hang Up
At times, angry customers tend to cross a line. Call center systems from brands like CallHippo allow your manager to listen in to your calls. So, you can easily either divert your call to them, or if all else fails, you can disconnect the call. While this may cause the customer’s anger to escalate, you can still walk away with dignity.
Managing Angry Callers is not Rocket Science!
No one likes to handle angry people, angry callers, or angry customers. But as call center executives, you must handle and solve the problems of all customers. While it may be cumbersome and tiring, the experience itself is rewarding enough to instill more confidence.
Thanks to the tons of guides from CallHippo about handling customers, increasing call center efficiency, tips for reducing abandoned calls in the call center, and their absolutely top-of-the-line call center systems, you will easily find yourself wading through the sea of callers like a Naval Commander in the Ocean.