Sometimes when interacting with customers, they may become irate and angry due to challenges they are having with our product or service. Good service personnel remain calm, observing all the rules for giving effective service, especially listening with empathy and paying attention to the issues being raised by the customer.
Customer feedback is good and even desired, but sometimes it may get heated. When your reasonable efforts to respond to the customer fails and he/she still persists in uncontrolled anger, belligerence and sometimes name-calling and insults, you should respond with these three advanced techniques for managing irate customers – in this specific order:
#1: Take A Time Out:
If the customer is on the phone, excuse yourself from the call, and ask the client to wait while you check for her file or pull out some information off the computers.
In the 30 seconds or so while you are away from the call the customer may have calmed down a bit and started to review all that has transpired. She may be better disposed to your responses after a short time out. It is important that you get her permission before putting her on hold.
#2: Delegate Upwards:
Customers respond to the principle of authority, so by the time you inform the irate customer that you will like to delegate upwards to your supervisor, they may feel that you are taking their issues very seriously and showing them a great deal of respect. When speaking with a higher authority, people tend to be calmer.
#3: Draw The Line:
If the attacks and insults persist, especially to a point where other customers and on-lookers may be negatively affected, you may have to draw the line. In as clear and respectful terms as possible, inform the customer that you will not be able to continue responding to her issues if she does not stop the insults, and calm down. Where the person still does not calm down, then you may exercise the option of truncating the call or excusing yourself from the conversation.
In some extreme cases, you may even need the security officials to intervene.