A few months ago, we shared some tips for taking the heat out of your most stressful customer phone calls. Since good customer communication is a skill one can always improve upon, we thought we’d offer up a few more tips to help you smooth over your toughest calls.
As a quick reminder, your business depends on it; 55 percent of people would pay more for a better customer experience.
Without further ado, here are three more ways you can diffuse an angry customer and create a better experience on the phone.
1. Allow the caller to vent.
Are you thinking: Is this person really telling me to sit there quietly and take the heat from an angry customer? If so, you are completely correct.
Sometimes your customers simply need to verbalize their issues in order to move on.
The key thing to remember: it’s not about you personally. While the customer’s feedback should be taken seriously, the insults and yelling comes from utter frustration. Give your customer the time they need to express themselves.
Want to keep your customers from getting even angrier? Don’t say these things.
2. Use their name. A lot.
“Using a person’s name is crucial, especially when meeting those we don’t see very often. Respect and acceptance stem from simple acts such as remembering a person’s name and using it whenever appropriate.”
Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends And Influence People believed that one’s own name was the sweetest sound and it’s true: can you recall a time you were around someone who called you by name a lot while having a conversation? Did it make you feel valuable? Special? Recognized? Like the only other person in the room?
Using terms like ma’am or sir are far too formal. When you use a customer’s first name, it shows that you respect and recognize them.
Have trouble remembering names, even after you’ve someone just told you theirs? Try the LIRA formula that was created by Dale Carnegie Training.
- Look and Listen
Try as hard as you can to focus on the person speaking, and make sure you understand very clearly, what their name is.
Create an impression in your head of what the person looks like. This includes physical features or the surroundings /situation in the moment.
Repeat the person’s name as many times as possible in conversation. Use it when it is appropriate. Use it when you are saying goodbye to that person. Afterward, repeat it in your head as much as possible.
Make associations of physical characteristics, names of landmarks, objects, buildings, companies, etc. Use color nouns and similar words to help you remember the name. We as humans remember things better in pictures.
3. Smile while you talk on the phone.
You’ve likely heard the age-old advice to smile when you talk to people on the phone. But does it really work or is it just a psychological trick to make tough customer situations easier to bear.
A study was published in 2008 that proves callers can pick up all kinds of conversational cues based on tone of voice alone – that includes smiling.
Physiologically speaking, the combined actions of smiling and talking softens the palate at the back of the mouth, causing sound waves to become more fluid, or relaxed. The result is a warm and friendly tone.
Since 84 percent of the message over the phone is vocal intonation, it’s critical to lock down an open and kind tone? This post has some useful tips to help you improve the tone of your voice for effective customer communication.
Stressful calls with customers will happen. Whether a customer stays with your business or not can come right down to how their problem was handled by the business. Using these simple customer communication tips can help you create a better experience for everyone involved.