Do your customers ever make you angry? It’s pretty much guaranteed that it will happen sometimes, which is why it’s imperative that you have a plan to manage it.
Some CSRs have a talent for this, and some do not; so, if you’re not talented with the endless capacity for kindness, then this post will give you some tools not just to act the part of someone who is kind (which will come off as sarcastic and disingenuous, anyway), but to truly quell your anger when dealing with tough customers.
Put Our Weapons Down
It’s the solution to so many different problems, where it concerns people. When you put yourself in the position of the person with whom you’re speaking and try to see the situation through their eyes, it will disarm you most of the time.
That’s when you can actually help them, which then makes them treat you better, too. The point is to put your weapons down and stop taking a defensive position.
They Need a Friend
A customer who is calling or writing in to your business is reaching out because they need help or because something is wrong.
They may even already be upset when you pick up their call, but it is important to remember that they have reached a point where they don’t know what to do or may be outright desperate. Basically, don’t take it personally. If you’ve been a CSR for long enough, you’ve developed a thick skin, anyway.
The moral of the story is that when they contact you, they need a real person who is going to set their mind at ease and guide them out of the woods. This is why the best CS reps are warm, attentive, and genuine, which brings us to the next key strategy.
They are a Human Being, Just Like You
Like a physician trying to diagnose and treat an illness, the best way to solve someone’s problem is to treat the person, not the problem. What were you trying to accomplish? What went wrong? Where did you get stuck?
These kinds of questions lead to empathy and will bring you to the solution more quickly and figure out what the customer actually needs without taking forever to get there. This is aside from the fact that seeing them as a person instead of a problem makes it easier for you to put yourself in their position, making it less likely that you will be upset by them.
Dealing with the Really Mean Ones
Not everybody you speak to is acting out of frustration; some are just downright mean. So if you get ticked off at one of these people, then it’s probably justified. Unfortunately, you still have to do your job, even if someone is a total jerk; so, you are going to need a different plan of action to deal with these types.
It’s really hard to ignore it when someone is demanding that you fix their problem, issue a refund, and cancel their account, all while telling you that you are incompetent when they haven’t even given you a chance to help them yet.
If you can get a word in, remind them that you want to help and will do everything you can to remedy their problem. When you can’t give this person what they want, they are probably going to ask for a supervisor—that’s when you tell them that you’re actually the owner, to make it extra fun.
Avoid Making it Personal at All Costs
When a caller is speaking to you while they’re in a state of frustration, anger, or panic, it feels personal—but it’s not. Their concern is with the product or service (or something related to it), not with you, and as for you—you’re just doing your job. This is a business transaction, and you always have to keep that in the forefront of your mind.
Robots are already replacing this position, anyway, so try to just act like a robot, never reacting emotionally. Interacting with anxious customers without making it personal, as a human, is not easy; but taking what they’re saying objectively is the ultimate key to controlling your emotions.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.