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©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Raging Bull Rude, angry, abusive customers are a challenge to handle. What’s the best method to defuse the situation so you’re able to steer it towards a positive outcome?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Paige did several things incorrectly. What were they? What technique was applied in this program to help control the call?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points Don’t take irate customers personally. Be certain to apologize, sympathize/empathize with the client, accept responsibility, and then prepare to help. When faced with swearing and abusive language, use Telephone Doctor’s “Swear Stopper” technique to turn the situation around.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com The Hangover Some late night and weekend callers can be in a ‘unique’ frame of mind. How do you walk the tight rope of staying polite while also valuing your time so you’re able to assist other customers?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com What’s wrong with trying to accommodate these ‘late night’ callers who are in a ‘unique’ frame of mind? What are a few suggestions to better handle this type of caller?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points Be prepared by knowing how to handle the situation in advance. Know your organization’s policy and local help lines. Regardless of your customer’s emotional state, keep in mind that you are the organization’s representative and you need to maintain your decorum and professionalism. You always want to respect your customers, but you will need to find the balance between respect for your customer and respect for your time.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Les Miserables Occasionally we encounter a chain of complaints about our policies. What’s the best method to handle these situations?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com In the ineffective segment, what were a few of the comments Paige made that will damage her company? When policies or procedures are changed and customers are unhappy, what is an effective way to acknowledge the customer’s concerns?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points When you have questions or concerns about your organization’s policies, discuss them only with management. Customers need to hear confidence and reassurance from you that your organization is capable of handling their needs.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Look Who’s Talking Sometimes customers love to tell you their life story. What’s the best strategy for resolving situations like this without upsetting talkative customers?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Darius attempted to get this talkative customer back on track by interrupting and saying: “I can see we have dozens of other customers waiting in queue, waiting for help. Now please focus…” Explain how you would feel if you were this talkative customer. It’s important to guide ‘talkative’ customers and get them back on track to better assist them. True or False?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points When a customer asks you how you are, it’s OK to not engage in this conversation, but to simply say, “Fine, thank you. And, how might I help you today?” Take control of your conversations and steer callers back on track. Long-winded conversations can take up valuable talk time and cause delays for other customers.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Reality Bites Occasionally, callers seem to operate outside of reality. What’s the best way to handle challenging situations like these?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com When callers are unwilling or unable to understand your explanations, what are some of the right and wrong ways to handle the situation? Wouldn’t it be nice if all our customers were happy, reasonable people? When we find ourselves in these situations, of what do we need to keep reminding ourselves?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points When a customer is being unreasonably irate, remember that it’s not personal. They’re upset about the situation, not you. Keep in mind that you represent your organization to the customer. Behave as such and be sensitive to their feelings. Know your organization’s guidelines regarding call escalation and, when necessary, be prepared to transfer an irrational caller to someone who is better able to help.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Show Me the Money Customers occasionally argue for more than your policy allows. What’s the best course of action for these thorny requests?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Darius had a customer that demanded reimbursement for part of his trip to Africa because his camera didn’t work. Darius hesitated and restated the crystal clear company policy. How did Darius come across to the customer? When you are dealing with a customer who is demanding more than you can give, what would be a course of action once you’ve determined that no matter what you try, you are not able to help them?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points Stand behind your organization and its product(s) or service(s). Be confident and know your limits when dealing with demanding customers.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Background noises and distractions can make delivering excellent service extremely difficult. What strategies can help solve these problems?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Paige attempted to assist a caller; however the noise in the background was preventing her from hearing clearly. What are a few suggestions to better manage these types of situations? When a caller puts you on hold, there are a number of consequences. What can be said to the caller before being put on hold so they understand your situation?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points Acknowledge background noise on a customer’s phone line and offer to hold while the customer does something about it. Know your organization’s policy on how long to stay on the line when a caller puts you on hold.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Just the Facts Ma’am Sometimes customers can be extremely emotional about personal situations. What’s the best way to handle these situations?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Emotional customers can be very challenging. What did Darius do that made the situation worse? In the best practices segment, why do we encourage customer service staff to show empathy?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points Don’t miss opportunities to show you care and show some empathy for a customer who needs it. Remember that any kindness you extend will come back to you later and will also help with building business relationships and customer retention.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Back to the Future Calls from ‘seasoned’ citizens deserve extra care. How can you demonstrate great service when you don’t have what they’re calling about?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com When a customer requests an item which is no longer being produced or a service that has been discontinued, what’s wrong with saying, “Sorry, that product or service is obsolete?” True or False: Some customers may require additional time.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points Every customer is deserving of respect and dignity. ‘Seasoned citizens’ need your patience and understanding. Regardless of the nature of the request, stay positive. Look for positive alternatives when a customer is making an impossible request.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com The Terminator Thankfully, threatening callers are rare. If you do encounter a customer making threats, what course of action should you take?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Darius connected with an irate customer who made threats against the company. Most callers want to vent and rarely act on their threats. True or False? What are a few simple suggestions to help resolve issues?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points Stay calm. Follow your organization’s incident plan. Be prepared for any situation in advance by knowing your organization’s guidelines for various scenarios.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Rules of Attraction Sexual harassment is a serious issue. How should you react if it arises in a customer service setting?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Why is it best to leave no ‘gray area’ with sexual harassment or other offensive remarks? When a customer starts steering the conversation in the wrong direction, what might be said to help reverse the course?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points It’s best to leave no ‘gray area’ with this type of situation and respectfully make it clear that inappropriate behavior such as this will not be tolerated. When ignoring inappropriate comments doesn’t work, it’s time to escalate the situation to your supervisor.
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Top Gun Your manager just issued a directive to escalate fewer calls. How do you handle the caller who immediately demands a supervisor?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Darius could certainly hear the feedback signals from this customer (terse tone, exasperated sighs, and obvious irritation.) What should he have responded? When a customer asks to be immediately transferred to a supervisor what are a few comments you can say to be an effective employee before escalating the call?
©Telephone Doctor, Inc. | www.telephonedoctor.com Key Points Reassure customers that you are very familiar with your organization’s product(s) or service(s) and that you ARE able to help them. Calm, cool confidence is what a customer needs to hear from you. Take ownership of your customer’s issue. They can feel when you’re trying to help. Stay with the customer as long as you can and offer as much help as you can. Escalate when necessary.
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