The trick to dealing with difficult customers is to show you are really interested in their problem and that you are willing to help. Follow these five steps for success.
Step 1 – Get the details
Take the caller's name, details and details of the problem. Make sure you have understood their name properly, write it down and use it once or twice during the call. When you take down details of the complaint or problem, check that you have understood.
- Could I take your name, please?
- Right, Mr Jones. And may I ask you for your customer number?
- Would you like to explain the problem?
- Can you explain that to me in more detail?
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Step 2 – Show empathy
Acknowledge the caller’s frustration.
- Yes, I can see that there is a problem.
- Let me see what I can do to help you.
- I understand why you're angry, Mr Jones.
Step 3 – Promise to take action
Show that you are going to do something to help the caller immediately.
- I’ll get a technician out to you right away, Mr Jones.
- I’ll make sure your complaint is processed immediately.
- I’ll have to check for you and I’ll get right back to you.
Step 4 – Check if there is anything else you can do
Show that you are genuinely interested in the person’s issues by offering to do more than they asked.
- Is there anything else I can do for you, Mr Jones?
- Is there anything else you weren’t fully satisfied with, Mr Jones?
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Step 5 – Arrange a follow-up call
Arrange to call the person back when the problem is solved.
- I’m going to pass this on to the sales department. I’ll get back to you this afternoon to tell you what’s happening.
- I’ll get right on to head office and see who is responsible. When is the best time for me to call you back, Mr Jones?
- I’m going to give your details to Benjamin Miller in accounts and ask him to call you this afternoon.