The Best Way to Handle Customer Challenges: Kill Them With Kindness

At some point we must be honest with ourselves, we can’t provide perfect care 100 percent of the time. No company is perfect. There’s simply no way to avoid receiving at least a handful of negative reviews. Oftentimes, the person on the other end of the phone could be having a bad day.

Nonetheless, it is how your Communicators react that will set your business apart from the rest. So what can Communicators do when they encounter an angry customer?

Below are a few ways Communicators can handle an unexpectedly dissatisfied consumer whether on the phone or via social media.

  • Don’t take it personally: When someone is irate, it can be difficult not to take it personally and become defensive. Doing so, however, will simply make the situation worse. As a Communicator, you have to develop thick skin as consumers will get upset from time to time. It’s important not to let your emotions get the best of you in these types of situations.
  • Stay positive: Believe it or not, using a positive tone, words, and phrases can go a long way in calming an angry consumer down. Once consumers feel your calming and positive nature, they too will start to mirror your attitude. Only then will you be able to get to the root of the problem and solve it.
  •  Acknowledge their feelings: When a consumer calls in with a complaint all he or she wants is to be heard. Don’t read the consumer a scripted apology, as he or she will see right through that. Rather, make sure that you acknowledge their feelings and display active listening queues, such as repeating back the problem.

Rather than mull over unfavorable reviews, take every customer challenge as an opportunity to learn and improve your customer care strategy. In fact, lessons learned can always be used for training purposes.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.