A customer service advisor who has spent some time in the business will know that there are a number of ways in which an unhappy customer can be handled. For those new to call centre jobs however, the following tips will come in handy.

Handling customer problems.

A customer who has a problem will instantly become even more upset if the customer service advisor spends time telling them what cannot be done for them.  A better approach is to tell them exactly what can be done. This puts a far more encouraging spin on the problem and helps to point the conversation in the right direction.

Remember that dealing with customers sympathetically and efficiently is entirely centred on listening to what they have to say.  After all, the customer service advisor is the only channel that they have for getting their message across, so interrupting while they are talking will be seen as a negative point and will not help to calm them down.

A customer who has a problem will be looking for an apology and it is important to give this as early on in the conversation as possible. It gives the sense that the company has taken some responsibility for the problem and will be looking to find a solution.  Making the call personal by using the customer’s name is also important. No customer wants to call a company and be made to feel as though the person on the other end is not taking any notice of them. 

Try to avoid having to ask the customer to repeat anything; this can come off as if they have not been listened to in the first place.

When a solution to the problem has been suggested, make sure that this is what the customer wants.  A solution that leaves them just as unhappy as the problem is no use and will not help with customer relations.  Ensure that they are happy with it before the call is ended so that any further issues can be resolved.

At the end of the call it is a good idea to thank the customer for their time, for bringing the matter to the company’s attention and reassuring them that the situation will be resolved.  A follow-up call to the customer when the problem has been resolved is a sign of excellent customer service and it is one that is likely to be appreciated, as the customer will feel that the company has gone that extra mile.

It can be very hard to remain calm if there is a customer on the other end of the phone shouting, but this is something that every customer service advisor needs to learn.  Shouting back will not help the situation, as the conversation will rapidly spiral out of control.  Keeping calm and using an even tone of voice will help to diffuse the situation much more quickly.

Skills such as these are learned quickly within the call centre environment as all companies have dissatisfied customers from time to time, but good customer service skills will help to reduce the possibility of this happening.