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© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | How To Handle The Irate Customer
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | You will learn: To visualize the dynamics involved in emotional situations. To apply the four-step process which addresses the special “kid- glove handling” and helps guide the issue to a resolution. To understand the process for escalating a situation when needed. To apply the technique to regain control of the conversation if the customer uses abusive language. To understand how offering excuses affects a complaint situation.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Take the Before-and-After Skills Inventory.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | View Program
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Key Point #1: It’s Nothing Personal.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Discuss Have you ever taken a call and been greeted by a blast of angry words? How did you respond? What happened? Most irate customers will begin to unload their anger before you get a chance to say anything more than your greeting. Why would a customer, to whom you’ve barely had a chance to say anything to, be angry with you? If the customer is actually angry with the company, why are you being blasted? When confronted by an angry customer, what are some things you definitely should not do?
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Telephone Doctor® Prescription Don’t hang up. It’s never okay to hang up on a customer. Don’t be rude. Remember – it’s not personal.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Key Point #2: The ASAP Technique
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Discuss You know what not to do when dealing with an irate customer, and that’s important. But what about something more positive? What can you do? What specific steps should you take with these customers? What are the steps to be followed in using the ASAP Technique to help an irate customer? In many cases, the cause of a customer’s anger isn’t clear at first. Why is “Apologize” first on the list? Why “Sympathize,” especially when you’ve just finished apologizing? Aren’t they almost the same? More often than not, you are not the one who caused the customer’s problem. So, why “Accept responsibility?” Why include “Prepare to help” on the list? Isn’t that true for any call?
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Telephone Doctor® Prescription Apologize. Sympathize. Accept responsibility. Prepare to help.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Key Point #3: You Can Satisfy Most People Most of the Time.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Discuss How will the steps in the ASAP Technique enable you to deal effectively with every irate customer you receive? What should you do if you’ve followed the ASAP Technique steps and the customer is still not satisfied? On those rare occasions when you’ve done your best and the customer still is not satisfied, then what? What is your company’s procedure for referring these calls to your supervisor or other manager?
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Telephone Doctor® Prescription Remember: You can satisfy most people most of the time. Know your company’s procedure for referring irate customers when necessary.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Key Point #4: Use Our Swear Stopper.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Discuss Have you ever had to deal with a customer who used profane or abusive language in voicing a complaint? How did you respond? What are some of the reasons why a customer might take this unfortunate approach? You already know that it’s never okay to be rude or to hang up on a customer. Does that mean you are at the mercy of an abusive customer? Without answering rudeness with rudeness, or hanging up on the customer, what can you do to stop a customer who is being abusive or offensive? Once you’ve taken control of the conversation and stopped the offensive language, then what?
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Telephone Doctor® Prescription Interject immediately. Say, “Excuse me…” Assure the customer you can help. Say, “…I can handle your problem, that’s no problem…” Address the offensive language directly. Say, “…I’m not able to handle your abusive language.” Keep control of the call. Begin asking follow-up questions immediately.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Key Point #5: No Excuses
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Discuss When you’re dealing with a customer who is upset about an error your company has made, do you try to “explain away” the mistake? Why do you think people tend to do that? If it just seems natural to offer an excuse, why is it not a good idea? What problems can it cause? If excuses aren’t allowed, what should you do?
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Telephone Doctor® Prescription Don’t offer excuses. Offer help.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | ROLE PLAY
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | Take the Before-and-After Skills Inventory Again. ANSWERS 01. F 02. F 03. C 04. C 05. F 06. T 07. B 08. A 09. T 10. C 11. C 12. F 13. A 14. T 15. T
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | A CALL TO ACTION! Memorize the following key points. Keep them in mind every time you use the telephone. Practice!
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS It’s Nothing Personal: Don’t hang up. It’s never okay to hang up on a customer. Don’t be rude. Remember – it’s not personal. The ASAP Technique: Apologize. Sympathize. Accept responsibility. Prepare to help. You Can Satisfy Most People Most of the Time: Know your company’s procedure for referring irate customers when necessary. Use Our Swear Stopper: Interject immediately. Say, “Excuse me…” Assure the customer you can help. Say, “…I can handle your problem, that’s no problem…” Address the offensive language directly. Say, “…I’m not able to handle your abusive language.” Keep control of the call. Begin by asking follow-up questions immediately. No Excuses: Don’t offer excuses. Offer help.
© Telephone Doctor, Inc. | How To Handle The Irate Customer
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