We all have fantasies of fighting fire with fire, when we try to handle an insulting, manipulative or frustrated customer, and it seems so unjust that we aren't "allowed" to fight back. However, you can't really insult the customer. The customer may be abusive, but even if you revenge, by backbiting, you will end up paying the double price, through complaints to the higher authorities, feeling stupid and yielding a loss to your company.
This is Jane Tweety. She is a new customer support manager at the multinational corporation. However, she is initially employed for a two-month probation period. Jane is very nervous and diffident.
Customer Service Techniques
To be prepared for customer support challenges, Jane should learn the right techniques to overcome the possible problems. Here are techniques Jane needs to defuse the outraged customer.
- Admit mistakes technique is used to calm down the customer by amitting the mistake, whether you made it personally or the company you represent made it.
- Allow venting is used for allowing the customer to let off steam uninterrupted, the idea is that the customer will eventually calm down on his or her own.
- Empathy statements are used as the primary response to any situation where the customer is upset or angry. The idea is to prove to the customer that you understand his or her emotional state.
- Not taking the bait technique means not responding to insults or abbusive comments made by a customer.
- Preemptive strike means anticipating a problem a customer might face and acknowledging it before the customer brings it up.
- Provide explanations technique means giving clear explanations to the customer.
- Refocus technique is used to bring a conversation with an angry customer to the original issue or topic [Extracted from: Perfect Phrases for Customer Service by Robert Bacal].
Handling insulting customers
It's Jane's second day at the office, and she has a stressful call from a furious customer. She is at her wit's end and needs assistance. Keep in mind that Jane's career depends on the outcome of this conversation.
Choose the defusing techniques used by Jane
- Allow venting
- Empathy statements
- Provide explanations
- Not taking the bait
- Admit mistakes
- Preemptive strike
Jane is exhausted but happy. With your help she managed to deal successfully with her first angry customer. A lot of new challenges are ahead but Jane is on the right track.