How to De-Escalate an Angry Customer and Improve Customer Support
In today’s business world, the customer is always considered to be right. This means that customer support teams often encounter unhappy clients, posing a regular challenge that can give headaches to customer service agents. At Pexly, we have extensive experience in handling angry customers. In this guide, we will provide a simple and direct set of instructions that are suitable for customer department heads and customer service agents alike. Our goal is to offer easy-to-follow guidance that will assist your agents in calming difficult situations and enhancing customer support. Additionally, we will explore the advantages of outsourcing, which can be an effective solution for CEOs seeking to effectively address issues with dissatisfied customers.
Table of contents:
1. What de-escalation is?
2. Tips for De-Escalating a Difficult Situation
3. Is Resolving the Issue Easier Through Phone Conversations?
4. How Can Outsourced Customer Support Benefit Your Company?
5. In Summary
What de-escalation is?
Mastering de-escalation techniques is essential in customer support. It entails utilizing specific behaviors to pacify customers and effectively resolve conflicts. The initial step is to create a calm environment, aiming to address their concerns and ensure their contentment. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to acknowledge that not all individuals express their frustrations in the same manner. Each customer is unique, and their manifestations of dissatisfaction may vary.
Tips for De-Escalating a Difficult Situation
When you encounter an upset customer, it’s important to address the problem right away and find the fastest and most effective solution. Many customers realize that the issue is not your fault, but what they really desire is to feel acknowledged, empathized with, and have their concern resolved. As a customer support advisor, it’s your responsibility to exceed expectations in order to ensure the problem is fixed and the customer is fully content. To accomplish this, it is crucial to employ the following strategies for calming down the situation:
- Don’t Internalize the Anger: Keep in mind that the customer’s dissatisfaction is not directed at you personally. When a customer becomes more and more furious, it’s crucial to recognize that it’s due to their frustration with the situation, and it doesn’t indicate any shortcomings on your part.
- Stay Calm and Proceed: Sustain a composed and professional attitude throughout the entire interaction. Your calmness will help soothe the customer and might even encourage a more productive conversation.
- Give Them Your Undivided Attention: Let the customer share their concerns without any interruptions. Actively listening is crucial to demonstrate your genuine concern for their issue and your dedication to finding a solution.
- Show Understanding: Even if you grasp the root cause and details of the complaint, it’s vital to display empathy and listen attentively. Offer reassurance to the customer that their concern will be addressed and their requirements will be fulfilled. Demonstrating understanding helps irate customers express their dissatisfaction in a more composed and helpful way.
- Avoid Making Unfulfillable Promises: Steer clear of making commitments that you cannot fulfill, as it can harm your company’s reputation. Be honest about what you can accomplish and set realistic expectations for the customer.
- Refuse to Argue or Say ‘No’: Remember, the customer’s satisfaction is paramount. Take note of the problem, comprehend its underlying causes, and strive to resolve it promptly. Avoid using negative statements like “I don’t know” or “I cannot.” Instead, utilize alternative phrases that convey your eagerness to assist and find solutions.
- Propose Practical Steps for Resolution: When dealing with dissatisfied customers, it’s beneficial to offer specific and feasible suggestions for resolving their issues. Confirm your understanding of the problem, demonstrate empathy, and explain the immediate actions you can take. Communicate any necessary follow-up steps that will be undertaken by supervisors or specialists within the company within the next 24-48 hours if necessary.
Is Resolving the Issue Easier Through Phone Conversations?
Although there are different ways to communicate, phone calls continue to be the main and quickest method for engaging with customers. About 40% of customer complaints are received via phone calls, while the remainder is divided among chats, emails, and in-person interactions. In this article, we will primarily concentrate on de-escalating situations over the phone and examine whether it is a simpler approach or not.
De-escalating situations over the phone comes with its own set of pros and cons:
- Support consultants may need to endure customers yelling or expressing their anger through verbal means.
- It could require more time and restrict support agents from helping other customers.
- Regularly dealing with angry customers over the phone can have a negative impact on morale and overall emotional well-being.
- Support representatives may experience burnout at a quicker rate.
- The process is typically faster, especially when customers are cooperative and provide the necessary information.
- Support agents can ask all the necessary questions without waiting for responses via email or chat.
- Phone conversations offer a chance to calm the customer directly through real-time interaction.
- There is no risk of missing the ticket or losing track of the conversation.
How Can Outsourced Customer Support Benefit Your Company?
Outsourcing customer support can assist businesses in managing irate customers through various means:
- Flexibility and Scalability: Adjust your support team size according to demand.
- Cost-Efficiency: Save expenses by not having to hire and train an internal team.
- Expertise and Specialization: Take advantage of skilled agents experienced in handling difficult customers.
- Multichannel Support: Provide assistance through different communication channels.
De-escalation techniques play a vital role in delivering outstanding service for support agents. Research indicates that 61% of customers would switch to a competitor following a single negative encounter. Outsourcing customer support provides advantages such as flexibility, cost-effectiveness, expertise, and multichannel assistance. By mastering de-escalation techniques and considering outsourcing, businesses can elevate customer satisfaction and attain success.