Anyone who works in a product support role knows, while most customers are friendly and reasonable, there are indeed times when emotions and frustration can get the best of us.
Have you ever encountered the “irate customer”? The second you pick up the phone, you know it’s not going to be good. You hear the tone of their voice, and it’s obvious they’re really upset. Almost immediately they demand to have their case escalated to the supervisor.
Regardless of whether or not your product is at fault, a great support agent knows how to effectively handle these types of situations. Interpersonal skills can be just as important as technical skills. Even if the issue is technically resolved, a customer might leave a negative review or complain on social media if they don’t perceive their experience to be positive.
Here are 5 tips to remember when providing support to an upset customer:
1. Wear a Thick Skin.
Remain calm and remember that the customer is not mad at you personally. While it’s not okay for people to be disrespectful, you can permit customers to vent by being patient, professional, and positive.
2. Acknowledge Their Frustration.
Even if the product is not the cause of the issue, acknowledge that the customer is frustrated and point out that you’re there to help them. Sympathize with the customer.
3. Ask Questions and Listen.
Gather more details to paint a clear picture of the situation. You’ll understand the issue and their frustration more closely, enabling you to empathize with the customer.
4. Reach an Amenable Solution.
Make sure the customer is satisfied with the outcome of the support interaction. Thank the customer for sharing their experience. (If you need to troubleshoot the issue further or escalate it, set expectations by providing an approximate timeframe for when you’ll get back to them.)
5. Follow Up.
Set a reminder to check in with the customer after an appropriate amount of time. It will demonstrate that you truly care.
Keep these 5 tips in mind when providing support to an upset customer. You’ll notice that it’s easier to provide good customer service and potentially turn a rant into a rave.