Helpful Techniques for Dealing with Difficult Call Center Customers

How to Handle Aggression from a Customer - Communication Techniques for a Call Center

Calls from dissatisfied customers are a pretty common situation in a call center. Support managers need to know how to behave tactfully despite negative emotions and help a client solve the problem. An aggressive attitude can throw an agent off their game, so training personnel on conflict resolution will be helpful in their work. Here are several strategies to manage difficult clients.

Do not Make Customer Experience Complicated

Many companies know that their call center is very busy, so they place their contact phone number in an inconspicuous place on the website, trying to promote online chat as the main method of communication. With simple questions and easy-to-solve issues, it's okay. But if a customer can't resolve their issue promptly, then hiding a direct way to contact a manager will lead to dissatisfaction and aggression.

You should pay attention to IVR. It has to be simple. Listening to lengthy audio messages before finally contacting a manager will have a negative effect on customers, reinforcing their dissatisfaction.

To reduce the number of customers, dissatisfied with having to spend time looking for ways of contacting support, add Callback or Click-to-Call widgets to your website. We activate these services for a virtual number for free. It will help to demonstrate your openness and readiness to help. When a customer feels your attentiveness, it reduces the possibility of tension when a customer talks to a manager.

Focus on Empathy

The professional of a call center agent is difficult emotionally. But when a call center agent is talking to a difficult customer, they need to remember that any aggression is caused by an existing problem and not their person. If the agent does not use active listening skills, there is a risk that throughout the conversation, the accusations will turn on them. Customers want to be heard. Even if a call center has a large call volume, a manager has to make an effort and don't give a response by route, they should try to place themselves in the customers' shoes. Persistent customers could annoy the manager as well. But only when the agent keeps their tone calm and follows the script to handle objections, they will be able to solve the issue more quickly than if they respond emotionally.

Make Positive Statements

When a customer asks for help, they expect to receive professional advice. There are cases when an agent, indeed, does not have the necessary information, but they cannot show it. Because it could lead to escalation of a conflict.

How call center operators should talk, even if they are not sure of the answer? Instead of saying "I can't", they should rephrase their answer, making it a positive statement. Even if their manuals do not have information about resolving a particular issue, they should build a sentence by the principle "What I can do for you, is this...". Building sentences in this way will show that the manager is ready to take responsibility for the resolution of the issue, and customers can feel taken care of.

An expert in the particular topic could be connected to the call. You need to build a system of communication that enables this. It is possible thanks to a virtual PBX and its extensions: it will enable the call management and forwarding system to connect a senior agent to a conversation in a critical case.

Recommendations for Management

The problem of many companies is that they forget to update important information on the website (business hours, delivery time, product availability, or terms of service). When a person, when placing an order, counts on particular conditions of purchase, but the operator gives them different information, you can expect that the buyer will be dissatisfied.

Senior managers need to control how often the website is updated, as well as prepare new instructions for the call center. This is critical because agents must clearly understand the changes in the availability of goods, shipment terms, in order to know how to respond to the aggression of dissatisfied customers.

Helpful VoIP Telephony Services for a Call Center

You can notify your customers about news and promotion events thanks to IP telephony. Use a greeting message for incoming calls for this purpose.

Other useful VoIP services:

  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response). If you have a wide variety of products and services under different departments, we recommend using IVR for a virtual number. It will allow to automatically activate a series of prerecorded voice messages which inform customers on the pertinent topics, and navigating the menu with dial tone keys gives them a way to contact an agent directly;
  • Call recordings. As there are various situations of conflict, a call center needs to update the knowledge base of objection-handling techniques, and practice them during training sessions. You can get advice on how to write a call center script from our article. You will get a lot of material for the training of call center managers if you set up a call recording feature. Then, conversations between agents and customers will be recorded, and you can use it as a base for new scripts and manuals on how to answer questions or handle conflicts. And, by analyzing frequent requests of the users, you can make a list of recommendations for the sales department;
  • Conference calls. Allows conducting group calls with several simultaneous users. In this way, a senior manager can have a working meeting with managers or have a training session. It is especially convenient when your managers work remotely.

The quality of work done by call center agents directly influences customer satisfaction. Regular training sessions on how to handle difficult customers will be helpful. It will also reduce the burnout rate. And with Freezvon's virtual number service, you will not only reduce the cost of phone calls but will also be able to use various VoIP services that help call center managers better manage communication with customers.

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